TSF pulls out of Iraq camp as rebel forces approach

12 August 2014: Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF), the Inmarsat-sponsored telecoms aid agency, has been forced to leave a camp in Iraq where it was providing refugee children with access to education.

Workers had to flee alongside the displaced families as Islamic State forces seized Christian towns a few miles away from the Khazar camp where they had set up an eLearning centre.

Over the last two months 70 children at the camp, aged between nine and 15, have been able to access educational activities on the internet via BGAN, using digital tablets.

Crucial communications

However, Kurdish police forces evacuated the camp on Sunday.

TSF has been working on the ground in Iraq since 15 June supporting NGOs and the growing number of internally displaced people (IDP) using Inmarsat’s satellite communications.

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes in the developing civil war.

Relief coordination

TSF has been using BGAN to improve coordination of relief efforts and transmit data where terrestrial communications are down, or out of reach, as well as providing IsatPhone Pro satellite phones so people can keep in touch with their families.

Most recently, it provided the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) with four Explorer 500 BGAN terminals for use in the towns of Salah Al-Din, Anbar, Kirkuk and Mosul, as well as training staff to use the equipment.

Télécoms Sans Frontières: www.tsfi.org