Emergency communications specialist Telecoms Sans Frontieres deployed critical telecoms infrastructure in Beirut, to connect hundreds of families and emergency services affected by a devastating explosion which rocked the city.
In a statement, the NGO said the infrastructure went to aid 872 families and support emergency services in the Lebanese capital, which saw a massive explosion in the city’s port in August, that damaged local infrastructure.
Telecoms Sans Frontieres deployed a team to Beirut and collaborated with the United Nations Disaster Assessment, and Coordination teams and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, to install reliable communications in the area of the disaster.
A call centre was also set up by the company, in partnership with local NGO Live Love Lebanon, and the Beirut Relief Coalition to enable disaster victims to report medical, psychological, or financial needs. A WhatsApp bot was developed to expedite the service by asking victims questions to get to the root of their needs.
Florent Bervas, Telecoms Sans Frontieres head of mission for the Beirut relief effort, said: “Any time there is an explosion or natural disaster, the local infrastructure can easily become saturated and unreliable, making it increasingly more challenging for emergency teams and relief workers to coordinate their efforts. There are a number of NGOs providing support here in Beirut, and we’re glad our technology has helped them with their important relief work.”
Edouard Bitar, president of Live Love Lebanon, added the call centre propped up by Telecoms Sans Frontieres operates as a “brain” for on the ground operations, hailing the company’s work as “crucial” in reaching those that needed support most.