The world-leading satellite operators step up support for the global humanitarian community as a respond to today’s fast changing environment 

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The FINANCIAL — The number of disasters and crisis are tremendously increasing from year to year around the world due to the different factors, mainly caused both as a result of climate change and geo-politics. Only in the past year, global natural disasters occurred in Vanuatu, Nepal and the Philippines demonstrated the critical role of communications in the wake of crises.

All abovementioned is driving us to many types of complications, like full collapse, destroy or overload of local networks, which are vitally important in such kind of situations. Hence to the existing situation, it should be highlighted that the importance of telecommunication means is increasing more and more. As a recall of the current situation the world’s leading satellite operators, Eutelsat, Hispasat, Inmarsat, Intelsat, SES, Thuraya and Yahsat, under the umbrella of the EMEA Satellite Operators Association (ESOA) and the Global VSAT Forum (GVF), has come up with the decision to announce the signing of a Crisis Connectivity Charter with the global humanitarian community represented by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC); the announcement was made at the World Humanitarian Summit Global Consultation held in Geneva, on 14th of October. 

The satellite sector is always and will continue systematically to be part of the first responder team, providing immediate communications links that support supply logistics, urgent medical care and coordination of relief efforts and this important step can be referred as one of the important solutions for reducing the mortality rate and facilitating of saving lives. Embodying a commitment from the satellite community to enhance connectivity in humanitarian emergencies, the Charter formalizes terms and protocols designed to accelerate the ability of emergency response teams to access satellite-based communications when local networks are out of order. The principles of the Charter also include increased coordination to prioritize access to bandwidth for humanitarian purposes during disaster operations, pre-positioned satellite equipment and transmission capacity at times of disaster in 20 high-risk countries in Europe, the Middle-East, Africa and Asia, as identified by the ETC and beyond, as well as training and capacity building for the humanitarian community across all five continents.

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Stephen O’Brien, UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and the UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator said: “The humanitarian community relies on satellite communications as they are the only technology that are immune to natural disasters and that can be immediately deployed, regardless of constraints such as geography. This is a significant step for the humanitarian community and a step change in the way we have worked with satellite operators in the past.”

The leading satellite operators ensure that by 2020 all those responding to disasters, including affected people, will be given the possibility to communicate, recover and redevelop through the Crisis Connectivity Charter and the ETC network, what will lead us to thousands of saved lives in reality.


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