17 May 2018: Inmarsat is among the signatories to a new United Nations Crisis Connectivity Charter, guaranteeing access to vital communications support as part of humanitarian responses to disaster.
Inmarsat has signed a contribution agreement with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), on behalf of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), further cementing its commitment to support global disaster relief.
These contribution agreements are the final steps in operationalising the Crisis Connectivity Charter signed in 2015 between the EMEA Satellite Operators Association (ESOA), the Global VSAT Forum (GVF), the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (OCHA) and the ETC.
The Crisis Connectivity Charter will 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 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.”
Inmarsat’s continuing commitment to disaster relief includes an 18-year relationship with United Nations-backed Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF), 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.
Inmarsat was the first official partner to Télécoms Sans Frontières in 2000, and has provided airtime and financial aid to support its work in the aftermath of some of the most devastating disasters and conflicts in over 70 countries.