Telecoms NGO sets up team in Baghdad

Telecoms Sans Frontières (TSF), the international humanitarian agency, has placed a team in Baghdad to provide emergency communications for the local population, medical staff and relief workers.

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By  Richard Agnew Published  April 29, 2003

Telecoms Sans Frontières (TSF), the international humanitarian agency, has placed a team in Baghdad to provide emergency communications for the local population, medical staff and relief workers.

The organisation is planning to open a fixed telecoms centre in the city tomorrow, providing phone, fax, email, internet and video conferencing facilities to agencies working to reconstruct Iraq.

Two logistics experts arrived in the city on Saturday and will be joined by three more later this week, a spokesperson for TSF said.

The organisation will eventually have between 15 and 20 people working in Iraq, including expatriates and local employees, and will remain in the country for “at least three months”, the spokesperson added.

“The idea is to have a centre in Baghdad and deploy teams across the country, depending on the security situation,” she said.

The group, which is backed by telecoms equipment vendors such as Ericsson and satellite provider Inmarsat, was set up to provide communications to people cut off, displaced or separated from their families by natural disasters and conflicts.

In Afghanistan, it maintained an internet centre and wireless network for NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and international agencies for three months. It also set up communications facilities for the 17,000 residents of Iraqi town Ar Rutbah last week.

In Baghdad, TSF will work in partnership with the Joint NGO Emergency Preparedness Initiative for Iraq (JNEPI), and five other NGOs; Save the Children; the International Medical Corps; International Rescue Committee; World Vision; and Mercy Corps.

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