WFP and Luxembourg join forces to boost emergency telecommunications in emergencies
LUXEMBOURG – The ability of humanitarian responders to communicate and exchange information in emergency settings is vital to ensuring lives are saved, and that the needs of disaster-hit communities are met rapidly and effectively.
The Government of Luxembourg’s partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) demonstrates how the public and private sectors can team up to boost the emergency preparedness and response capacity of humanitarian organizations, ensuring that when a disaster strikes, aid gets to those who need it most.
On 8 July, Paulette Lenert, Luxembourg’s Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, and Rehan Asad, WFP’s Chief of Staff witnessed first-hand the impact of this partnership at the ‘Let’s Net’ emergency telecommunications training held in Luxembourg in early July, that brought together participants from six humanitarian organizations spanning 14 countries, including Afghanistan, Central African Republic and Yemen.
“The work Luxembourg does with WFP makes a real difference when lives are on the line in emergencies. We saw it after Tropical Cyclones Idai and Kenneth hit Mozambique this spring, when humanitarian partners who had trained on ‘Let’s Net’ made a huge impact by quickly deploying emergency communications services where they were most needed,” said Asad, noting that volunteers from Luxembourg public-private partnership emergency.lu, Ericsson Response and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) worked on the cyclone response in Mozambique.
Participants were trained in cutting-edge techniques needed to rapidly set up communications connectivity in emergency settings where access to information for humanitarian organizations can mean lives are saved. The course is hosted and co-developed by the Government of Luxembourg, and includes emergency.lu, a public-private partnership between the Government of Luxembourg and Luxembourg-based companies SES Satellites, HITEC Luxembourg and Luxembourg Air Rescue, which supplies a large portion of ETC services during emergency operations.
The Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) is a global network of humanitarian, private sector and governmental organisations that work together in disasters to provide vital communications services. The ETC, in partnership with leading edge technology companies and local telecom providers, is creating an environment for emergency response which allows humanitarian responders, citizens and governments to have a seamless, resilient and principled communications experience. The ETC is one of the eleven clusters designated by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and is led by the WFP.
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