Published On: Tue, Mar 14th, 2017

ETC seeks support to connect CAR aid workers

Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC)KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – A GLOBAL network work together to provide shared communications services in humanitarian emergencies requires over US$400 000 to enhance the response to the crisis in the Central African Republic.
A protection crisis erupted in the country at the end of 2013 resulting in severe violence and widespread displacement.
The collapse of state, law and order and public services further exacerbated the situation.
Since then, the country has remained extremely volatile. The humanitarian situation remains critical leaving 2,3 million people, over half the population, in urgent need of  assistance.
The country is afflicted by a terror crisis that has escalated for years.
The Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), the global network, was reactivated in CAR in December 2013 in response to the escalating crisis.
ETC is providing shared internet connectivity services and security telecommunications to the response community in eight sites across the country Bandoro and Bossangoa, managed  by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The site in Zemio is managed by UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); N’Dele is managed by International Organisation of Migration (IOM); and Bambari, Bangui, Bouar and Paoua, are managed by World Food Programme.
Thanks to ETC initiatives, over 300 humanitarian personnel have received radio user training, supporting their safety while carrying out their lifesaving work in this complex and insecure environment.
ETC plans to deploy a DMR (digital mobile radio) network in the capital, Bangui and two field sites for UN agencies.
Seven communication centreshave already been deployed.
ETC is working on developing a transition plan to ensure provision of longer term shared ICT services as the current project runs until the end of June 2017 but challenges are threatening implementation.
“Although requirements for continuing provision of shared ICT services is high, the funding situation has forced the ETC to scale down its services and plan for transition,” said a spokesperson.
Limited funding sees ETC requires $400 765 to cover all activities until the end of June.
The organisation however welcomed funding to the tune of 487 000 from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency over the years.
CAJ News

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