The United Nations Crisis Connectivity Charter aims to provide governments and NGOs with immediate and resilient connectivity in case of major humanitarian crisis, within 24 hours, and on four continents.
Signed in 2015, by ESOA (EMEA Satellite Operators’ Association), the GVF (Global VSAT Forum) and several satellite operators, with the support of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) under the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs, the Crisis Connectivity Charter greatly enhances the humanitarian community’s access to vital satellite-based communications when local networks are affected, destroyed or overloaded following disasters.
The Charter’s signatories are committing satellite capacity and equipment to be dedicated for humanitarian purposes during emergency responses. When a disaster strikes, the ETC, under the global leadership of WFP, can activate the Charter and identify which pre-planned solutions are immediately available for any given region and need within a 24-hour deployment timeline after a crisis. Eutelsat’s contribution consists principally of pre-allocated bandwidth on four of its satellites across the globe, complemented on the ground by ready-to-deploy satellite kits.
Since signing the Charter, satellite operators have been active on all continents supporting WFP, governments and NGOs, enabling VoIP, Wi-Fi and internet access via satellite to support supply logistics, urgent medical care and coordination of relief efforts.