World Humanitarian Day commemorates brave aid workers

19 August 2014: Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF), the Inmarsat-sponsored emergency communications agency, is commemorating all the aid workers across the globe for World Humanitarian Day 2014.

The day was established to mark the anniversary of the death of 22 aid workers killed in a bombing at the UN headquarters in Baghdad in 2003 and is now used to remember all humanitarian workers who have lost their lives, as well as those in the field today.

“Today, humanitarian workers across the globe are celebrating World Humanitarian Day 2014 – a day tainted with poignancy for some, but also a celebration of the work that is carried out to save hundreds of thousands of lives every year,” said Alexander James Thomas, Head of Communications at TSF.

Sponsor support

“All of this would not be possible without the continued support and commitment of our sponsors.”

TSF workers have most recently been in northern Iraq using BGAN in their relief efforts in the escalating conflict there, which has seen hundreds of thousands of people displaced.

BGAN has helped them coordinate relief efforts and transmit data where terrestrial communications are down or out of reach, while IsatPhone Pro satellite phones allowed people to make contact with their families.

Crucial communications

TSF set up an eLearning centre at Khazar camp, providing 70 refugee children with access to education until Islamic State forces seized Christian towns a few miles away and families were again forced to flee.

Their workers are also relying on Inmarsat to provide satellite connections for thousands of people caught up in the Syrian conflict.

Since its creation in 1998, TSF has:

  • Intervened in 66 countries across the world, in Africa, North America, South America, Asia, Europe and Australasia
  • Spent a total of 8,000 days on the ground, present at all major natural disasters and conflicts
  • Supported over 830 international aid organisations, United Nations agencies, local institutions and local and national  governments
  • Been awarded the renowned Space Achievement Award for its outstanding work in the humanitarian sector
  • Had a long-term presence in 16 countries with projects ranging from SMS systems for domestic violence victimes to mobile data collection systems for Burmese midwives.

Télécoms Sans Frontières: www.tsfi.org