The COVID-19 pandemic and devastating natural hazards caused unprecedented disruptions in countries around the world. The telecommunication / ICT infrastructure and investment gap has also widened between countries. This highlights the urgency for universal and meaningful digital connectivity.
In addition, there is a stark digital divide with still some 2.7 billion people who remain offline, 96 percent of whom live in developing countries. An estimated 5.3 billion people were using the Internet according to the latest estimates in Measuring digital development – Facts and Figures 2022. That means that roughly 66 percent of the world’s population is now online. In the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), 36 percent of the people use the Internet, according to Measuring digital development – Facts and Figures: Focus on Least Developed Countries.
With the urgency for universal and meaningful digital connectivity, Connect2Recover focuses on ensuring available, affordable and resilient digital infrastructure of beneficiary countries through a “Five phase approach”.
Connect2Recover works in six ITU regions, with priority to Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States. This initiative is supported by five Member States – Japan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (the founding members), Australia, the Republic of Lithuania and Czech Republic – ; two Sector Members – Huawei and Vodafone – ; and the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development.Discover more
Find out about the 15 winners of the Connect2Recover Research Competition, and their promising research proposals to accelerate digital inclusion during COVID-19 recovery.