• The ETC in the Pacific—supported by a WFP FITTEST specialist—installed and tested an emergency communications system in Nauru to increase the emergency response capabilities of the National Emergency Services (NES). The system is already being used in the response to Nauru’s first massive outbreak of COVID-19.
• Emergency back-up satellite communications tools are being tested and programmed for prepositioning in Fiji as part of regional preparedness measures.
• The Pacific region continues to be hard hit by the impact of climate change and adverse weather events – the ETC conducted preliminary assessments for ICT needs in Kiribati following the declaration of state of disaster due to drought, as well as for Vanuatu which was hit by Cyclone Gina on 20 May.
Nauru – Emergency communications system
The ETC in the Pacific—supported by a WFP FITTEST specialist—installed and tested an emergency communications system in Nauru from 30 May to 18 June, in partnership with the country’s National Emergency Services (NES). The system includes a communications centre equipped with a HF/VHF radio network and satellite communications capacity which can reach all areas of the island country. Two training sessions were held with NES staff on how to use and maintain the system, which was handed over to the NES on 18 June. The VHF and HF radio network with satellite communications capacity will provide the NES with resilient emergency telecommunications capabilities in the face of disaster.
The NES Secretary has informed the ETC in the Pacific that the newly installed emergency communications system is being actively used to support the new COVID-19 emergency response currently underway in Nauru, due to a rapid increase in cases. There were no COVID-19 cases in Nauru until June – it has now spread to nearly a third of the population. See here for more information.
The mission to Nauru is supported by funds from the USA’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA).