Communications support to Vanuatu emergency

Pulished: 18 March 2015

IHP deploys to Vanuatu to support humanitarian coordination and assessments in response to the devastating cyclone (PAM) that hit the South Pacific late last week.

This is the most powerful cyclone the South Pacific has experience in several decades. The Cyclone PAM has affected over half of Vanuatu's population of 268 000, and threatens to overwhelm the already fragile systems in the country. The logistics and communications challenges are enourmous in light of the remote and innaccessible islands that constitues the country.  

IHP has upon request by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), deployed 5 IT- and telecommunications experts. The experts are carrying 2 ICT-kits to support the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination team (UNDAC). The national disaster management agency of the Government is coordinating and managing the response from the Emergency Operations Center in Port Villa and the UNDAC team has been requested to support these efforts. 

The IHP expertise and equipment is crucial for effective coordination and information sharing in this very urgent and fragile situation. The IHP team will establish necessary emergency communications and with that ensuring that information sharing, decision making and coordination can be effectively handled. The ICT kits contains equipment to install internet connectivity, satellite and mobile phone communications as well as providing necessary infrastructure for office set-ups.

The IHP support is provided and supported by the Governement of Sweden, trough MSB, and the Government of Luxembourg through ASS-LUX.  

Picture: IHP ICT Kit in use to support UNDAC (picture from Philippines 2013)