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ETC deploys to Tacloban PhilippinesThe government of Luxembourg’s partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) demonstrates how the public and private sectors can team up to boost the emergency preparedness and response capacity of humanitarian organisations, ensuring that when a disaster strikes, aid reaches to those who need it most

On 8 July, Luxembourg’s minister for development cooperation and humanitarian action, Paulette Lenert, and WFP chief of staff, Rehan Asad, witnessed the impact of this partnership at the Luxembourg emergency telecommunications training ‘Let’s Net’ in early July, which brought together participants from six humanitarian organisations from 14 countries, including Afghanistan, Central African Republic and Yemen.

“The work Luxembourg does with WFP makes a real difference when lives are on the line in emergencies. We saw it after Tropical Cyclones Idai and Kenneth hit Mozambique this spring, when humanitarian partners who had trained on ‘Let’s Net’ made a huge impact by quickly deploying emergency communications services where they were most needed,” said Asad, noting that volunteers from Luxembourg public-private partnership, Ericsson Response and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) worked on the cyclone response in Mozambique.

Participants were trained in techniques needed to quickly establish communications connectivity in emergency settings where access to information for humanitarian organisations can mean saving lives.

The course is hosted and co-developed by the government of Luxembourg and includes, a public-private partnership between the Government of Luxembourg and Luxembourg-based companies SES Satellites, HITEC Luxembourg and Luxembourg Air Rescue, which supplies a large portion of ETC services during emergency operations.

The Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) is a global network of humanitarian, private sector and governmental organisations working together in disasters to provide vital communications services.

The ETC, in partnership with technology companies and local telecom providers, is creating an emergency response environment that allows humanitarian responders, citizens and governments to have a seamless, resilient and principled communications experience. The ETC is one of the 11 clusters designated by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and is led by the WFP.