In places where hunger strikes most often, communication is essential to saving lives. Local communications are at best primitive or at worst unpredictable. Only when communication systems are in place can WFP’s aid workers effectively manage the movement, delivery and monitoring of critical food assistance while ensuring their own safety at the same time.
WFP ICT allows staff to communicate with field offices and Headquarters wherever they are – be it the jungles of Cambodia, the Angolan bush or the deserts of Yemen.
WFP ICT rapid response teams can be dispatched to emergencies with the equipment necessary to get communications up and running within 48 hours. In between crises, the crews travel to WFP's operations, providing the necessary technical support and continuous upgrading of the ICT network. Find out more about FITTEST rapid response team.
Emergency Telecommunications Cluster
In major emergencies that require a joint response by several UN agencies, it’s essential to ensure coordination to have a system in place which allows telecommunication services to be set up quickly and efficiently.
The Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) groups together UN agencies and other humanitarian partners with the most relevant expertise in order to achieve the task. Because of its extensive experience in emergencies, WFP leads the Cluster.
Thanks to the ETC, the telecoms services and processes needed in an emergency are well defined and there is clear accountability. This means that the overall response is more efficient.
Alliances with the private sector
WFP ICT constantly seeks for opportunities to create strategic alliances with the private sector to open new avenues to improve ICT emergency preparedness and response in humanitarian operations.
The Vodafone Foundation (VF) and the United Nations Foundations (UNF) have become the 1st WFP’s Global Humanitarian Partners for emergency communications. The WFP/VF/UNF partnership was launched in February, 2008 and aims to create the ICT Humanitarian Emergency Platform at the service of the whole ICT community, including UN agencies, NGOs and other partners.