Sunday, 20 May 2018 03:08

Inmarsat signs up to UN comms charter for disaster relief

TSF set up communication lifelines in the Dominican Republic last year following Hurricane Maria TSF set up communication lifelines in the Dominican Republic last year following Hurricane Maria

Satellite communications company Inmarsat has signed up to a new United Nations Crisis Connectivity Charter, guaranteeing access to vital communications support as part of humanitarian responses to disaster relief.

The company has signed a contribution agreement with the United Nations World Food Programme, on behalf of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster, which it says further cements its commitment to support global disaster relief.

The Crisis Connectivity Charter is designed to help the humanitarian response community by improving their access to vital satellite-based communications when local networks are affected, destroyed or overloaded after a disaster.

Under the contribution agreements, signatories are now committing satellite equipment and capacity that will be dedicated for humanitarian purposes during emergency responses. The ETC, under the global leadership of the WFP, will be able to activate the charter when disaster strikes and identify which capacity and operator is available and best suited to a given region and need.

Paul Gudonis, president, Inmarsat Enterprise, said: “Inmarsat has a long and proven track record in providing vital communications services to parts of the world often devastated by disaster. From our inception in 1979 by the United Nations to provide safety communications for mariners at sea, we have continued our commitment to saving lives for nearly four decades; forging strong links with government emergency planning teams and the humanitarian sector to help mobilise global satellite communications to aid disaster relief.

“Today, I am pleased to welcome the next operational phase of the Crisis Connectivity Charter, which will see the satellite industry commit dedicated equipment and pre-allocated bandwidth capacity for humanitarian purposes that can be activated within 24 hours of an ensuing crisis and cover all regions of the globe.”

Gudonis said Inmarsat’s continuing commitment to disaster relief included an 18-year relationship with United Nations-backed Télécoms Sans Frontières, the NGO emergency telecommunications agency, and, more recently, a partnership with Team Rubicon, an international NGO focused on serving vulnerable and at-risk populations affected by disaster.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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