Welcome to issue 47 of the Call to Comms!
As 2023 draws to a close, here's a look back at 10 TSF missions over the year, from Turkey to Mexico. The Call to Comms will take a break to return in the second week of January - so now is a good time to reflect on this year's missions for our final issue of 2023.
Thank you for reading The Call to Comms this year, for your interest in TSF's cause and the intersection of humanitarian action and technology.
Also this week: massive phone and internet outage in Ukraine, flooding and a hospital raid in Gaza, and the Global Refugee Forum.
A year of humanitarian action
Over 403,000 people supported
1- Turkey & Syria: Emergency response to an earthquake
In February, TSF deployed in Southern Turkey where a 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred followed by a 7.5 aftershock. Communication means were provided to help strengthen the coordination of relief efforts working on-site. TSF also reinforced its communication support to mobile teams and medical centers in northern Syria to facilitate relief efforts and to better meet the needs of affected populations.
2- Ukraine: Relieving the difficulties of displaced Ukrainians
TSF maintained its connectivity support to internally displaced people living in 10 accommodation centers across Ukraine. It enabled them to talk with loved ones, access remote education and find relevant information online.
3- Poland: Distributing essential information for refugees
In Poland, TSF provided forcibly displaced people with relevant and reliable information. This information helps them make more informed decisions and regain control of their lives.
4- Madagascar: Supporting digital inclusion in rural areas
This year, and for more than 10 consecutive years, TSF has, through its long-standing partnership with the IT Cup Center in Miarinarivo, kept on promoting digital inclusion and digital education in rural areas of Madagascar with a cybercafe, workshops and more.
TSF provided high-density Wi-Fi coverage in the Lipa refugee camp in Bosnia and in the Mavrovouni refugee camp in Greece. This connectivity is necessary for refugees and asylum seekers to stay in close contact with their loved ones. It also enables them to access important information about their situation and find opportunities for their future.
6- Latin America: Diffusing essential information
In Latin America, TSF distributed reliable information to refugees and migrants fleeing violence and misery. The information includes procedures and rights, health, and is distributed in more than 90 migrants reception centers from Colombia to Mexico.
7- Morocco: Deploying to assess needs after deadly earthquake
In September, TSF deployed in Morocco after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Atlas Mountains region. In collaboration with local players, the TSF team gathered information on the state of telecoms network in affected areas. Field assessments showed that national telecoms networks were rapidly functional and sufficiently stable to conduct rescue operations.
8- Libya: Supporting relief efforts
TSF also deployed in Libya in September, in the aftermath of massive floods that submerged a large part of the city of Derna, causing considerable damages and killing many. TSF provided communications means and broadband internet connectivity in a facility for relief responders and medical teams.
9- Mexico: Providing connectivity to affected people after Hurricane Otis
TSF supported emergency telecommunications within its partnership with the Red Cross, enabling local organizations to conduct safer operations on the ground and assist the affected populations.
10- South East Asia and the Caribbean: Sharing telecom capacity for emergency response officials
This project started in 2021 and was supported by the Internet Society Foundation. Its objective was to diminish the impact of disasters on affected communities thanks to an emergency telecoms capacities in the hand of regional response mechanisms. Both partner organizations CDEMA and AHA Centre worked closely with TSF teams during workshops and training sessions to design and set up this capacity in both regions.
It is thanks to the work of our teams around the world and the continuous support of our partners and donors that these actions are possible. Thank you.
This week’s reads
1 - Phone and Internet Outage in Ukraine After Cyberattack
- Due to a cyberattack on one of Ukraine’s largest mobile phone operators on December 12, millions of people have been left without phone or internet access.
- Millions have reportedly been without access to the Kyiv Region’s air raid warning system.
2 - A hospital destroyed and flooding in Gaza
- Kamal Adwan Hospital, north of Gaza City, was raided by Israeli military over four days last week, leading to the loss of the hospital and impacting Gaza's health system.
- A near communications blackout lasted about four days last week.
- Parts of Gaza were flooded on December 13 after heavy rains and strong winds, damaging the tents of forcibly displaced people and raising the possibilities of disease.
3- Global Refugee Forum
- The Global Refugee Forum is the world’s largest gathering for refugee issues, focusing on issues such as gender equality, health, education, rights of refugee children and more.
- A record 114 million people are forcibly displaced today.
- Leading tech companies produced a Digital Protection pledge, which aims to dedicate resources to prevent misinformation and hate speech towards displaced people.
See you next year!