TerreStar Global (TerreStar), a European communications company that plans to offer satellite and terrestrial mobile communications, will donate one week of emergency response time for disaster response provided by the NGO Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF), the United Nations (UN) Foundation announced today. TerreStar’s agreement with the UN Foundation will support the rapid deployment of TSF technicians who provide critical telecom support to international relief workers within 48 hours of the onset of a disaster.
“Whether flood or famine, recent disasters across the globe have proven the critical importance of communications to effective disaster response efforts,” said Kathy Calvin, chief operating officer at the UN Foundation, a charity that convenes public-private partnerships in support of UN programs and causes. “We count on private sector leaders like TerreStar who step forward to commit the technologies and resources that are essential in tackling some of the world’s toughest humanitarian challenges.”
“TerreStar is pleased to support this unique partnership, which exemplifies the value of the public protection and disaster relief services that are a central part of our business,” said Robert H. Brumley, president and CEO of TerreStar Global. “TerreStar looks forward to continued collaboration with the UN Foundation to ensure that organizations such as TSF are able to take advantage of next generation technologies and fully interoperable networks like TerreStar’s in their support of the UN’s humanitarian efforts.”
The UN Foundation’s technology program is a part of a partnership with the Vodafone Group Foundation to provide £15 million over 5 years to support the use of technologies in UN missions worldwide. The program’s Rapid Response Emergency Telecommunications project supports TSF’s role as “first responder” in the UN’s emergency telecommunications cluster that includes UNICEF, the UN World Food Programme (WFP), and the UN Organization for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
“TSF is pleased to welcome TerreStar’s support, which will increase our capacity to respond to more emergencies worldwide, and provide rapid and reliable communications to the humanitarian community,” said Jean-Francois, president of TSF. “TerreStar’s contribution will help us save lives.”
TSF deploys rapid response teams of telecommunications experts to join UN missions anywhere in the world, within 48 hours of an emergency. Through the UN Foundation and Vodafone Group Foundation initiative, up to four TSF teams are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to deploy with the UN to the scenes of natural disasters and humanitarian crises. Support from TerreStar Global will fund one week’s worth of TSF deployment time, facilitating access to communications technology in emergencies, reducing response times, and helping to save lives.