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MAY 2015, ISSUE #23

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.

A lot can happen in a month. In the few weeks since we sent out our cheery ‘New Year. New ETC.' newsletter, Vanuatu has been struck by its worst natural disaster - and recovered - and Yemen has sunk further into conflict with nearly 1000 lives already lost

Then, on 25 April, a massive 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal hard. Although we had been preparing for exactly this scenario for some time, when it actually happened it still came as a shock.  
Good news from South Sudan is the deployment of a second site for the Humanitarian Internet Support Project (HISP) which is providing internet connectivity to the response community. Ugly news though is the realisation that Syria is the world's largest displacement crisis of our era.
We, as the ETC network, are well aware that the technology we deploy in response to these good/bad/ugly situations must evolve in response to this ever-changing environment. The way in which we prepare, and even the people to whom we provide services, will also need to evolve in the coming years. This is exactly what the ETC2020 strategy is anticipating. We know that, regardless of the situation, the services we provide today, won't be enough tomorrow

So with the good, the bad and the ugly, where will you be tomorrow?

Earthquake, Nepal

A massive 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on 25th April 81km outside of Kathmandu. More than 4,000 people have already been reported to have lost their lives and many more are still unaccounted for across the country. The ETC was activated and an inter-agency response team deployed to provide services to the response community. Read more


Today, when an emergency strikes anywhere across the globe, the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) network kicks into action deploying people and equipment necessary to provide urgent communications services to the humanitarian community. Tomorrow, this won't be enough. Read more


Syria has now entered its fifth year of fighting and shows few signs of abating. OCHA reports that humanitarian needs in Syria have increased twelve-fold since the beginning of the crisis, with 12.2 million people now in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

With more than half of the population forced to leave their homes, Syria is the world's largest displacement crisis of our era. Read more


Even before the conflict, Yemen was teetering on the brink of a full-blown humanitarian disaster – it is 90 per cent dependent on food imports, running out of water in some cities and malnutrition plagues the population, 60 per cent of which lives under the poverty line. Read more


Within hours of Cyclone Pam tearing through Vanuatu, the critical need for communications was blaringly obvious. Why? With the exception of the capital, Port Vila on Efate Island, the other 64 inhabited islands that comprise the country were largely incommunicado. Without communications, there was no way of knowing the impact this Category 5 storm had made on the small island nation. Read more


Sitting in his prefab in remote South Sudanese state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, on 22 September 2014 Peter Kout, Red Cross Director in Aweil, received an email from his official domain. His excitement was palpable. It was the first time he had received an email in Aweil because it was the first time he had internet connectivity there. His agency had just become the first of many aid organisations to be connected to the new Humanitarian Internet Support Project (HISP). Read more


Just a sneak peak... At the header of the new ETC website! What do you think?

The website is in the soft launch phase and is being tried and tested by key people within the ETC network. It has improved design, navigation and functionality. No more "how on earth do I find that document" moments! We hope…

Pages and pages of valuable content are currently being migrated from the old site to the new platform so that, when it does go live, the operational information you need will be readily available.

For those of you who have registered user accounts, you may be required to revalidate your credentials on the new website and confirm that you are still an active user. We will keep you posted on this so you know when to request access again. Read more




Information and operational updates can be found in:


For further information, questions, or to contribute to the next issue of Wavelength, contact newsletter@ictemergency.wfp.org

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