emergency.lu mission to Vanuatu

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In response to the massive destruction caused by the Category 5 cyclone PAM in Vanuatu, two volunteers of the Luxembourg Civil Protection and three telecommunication satellite systems from emergency.lu have been deployed in the Pacific.

This deployment was made at the request of the UN and aims to assist the Government of Vanuatu to restore communication services between the capital Port Vila and the southern and northern islands.

Despite the logistical challenges of bad weather, a first system was able to be transported by boat to the island of Tanna and was installed at Isangel on 31 March. This terminal will restore the micro-computer network of the government and the spread of FM radios between the capital Port Vila and the affected islands. At the same time, the terminal offers high-speed Internet connectivity to humanitarian organizations working on the island of Tanna. Finally, it allows people affected by the cyclone to contact their families on the outside. 

In this context, Luxembourg's Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action has emphasized that several private companies have actively supported the deployment Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, including: Cargolux, Schenker Luxemburg and DHL Luxembourg for helping with transportation between Luxembourg and the Humanitarian Response Depot in Dubai and between Luxembourg and Vanuatu; SES for having made available free satellite capacity for a month; SES TechCom and HITEC Luxembourg for communicating day and night with the regulator and the Vanuatu Disaster Management Office defining a technical configuration for restoring internal and external public communications service that is reliable and secure.

The two volunteers of the Humanitarian Missions Task Force of the Luxembourg Civil Protection returned from their mission on 27 and 30 March respectively. While in Vanuatu, they were part of a technical team of the International Humanitarian Partnership (IHP) network, in support of the UN assessment experts (United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team - UNDAC) dispatched on site to analyze the extent of the damage and coordinate relief efforts.

At the end of April, 2 satellite terminals are on their way back to Dubai. The third terminal is still in operation on Tanna Island and is providing free-of-charge internet connectivity to the Provincial government office, to the local hospital and to the humanitarian community in Isangel. The local infrastructure is foreseen to be restored in the coming weeks, so that is planned to dismantle the emergency.lu by end of May 2015.

 

 

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