GVF Enters Timely U.N. Satellite Disaster Preparedness Partnership

[Satellite TODAY Insider 03-16-11] The United Nations and the Global VSAT Forum (GVF) signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate more effective use of information communication technologies (ICTs) to support disaster relief, GVF announced March 15.
    The United Nations Secretariat signed the agreement in New York City days before Japan was struck with a 9.0 magnitude earthquake. The Technical Coordination and Partnerships Unit (TCPU) of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is providing support.
    GVF said the agreement implements a Disaster Preparedness Registry as an online platform that will facilitate humanitarian organizations’ efforts to leverage satellite-based systems, services and personnel for relief efforts as well as for medium and long-term development programs that are conducted following disasters. The Disaster Preparedness Registry aims to enable first responders to more effectively draw upon rapidly deployable communications solutions as well as systems and services that are already operating in close proximity to disasters.
    “This agreement will enable us to exchange vital information on new and existing technologies and applications that can improve the overall effectiveness of emergency telecommunications services delivered by the humanitarian community,” Chief of UN OCHA-TCPU Chief Chérif Ghaly said in a statement.
    “We are committed to expanding our work with the humanitarian community through this agreement, which builds upon 15 years of collaboration between GVF and UN-OCHA,” GVF Secretary General David Hartshorn said in a statement. “The satellite industry has already begun confirming their participation in the Disaster Preparedness Registry, which will be available for use in the coming weeks.”

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