Since the start of the violent conflict in North-Eastern Nigeria in 2009, there are an estimated 1.8 million people displaced and a further 200,000 seeking refuge in the neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Seven million people are currently in need of life-saving assistance in the three worst-affected states in the north-east: Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
The Emergency Telecommunications Sector (ETS)* was officially activated in Nigeria on 23 November 2016. As global lead of the ETC, the World Food Programme (WFP) is coordinating the ETS in Nigeria, responding with government, private sector and humanitarian organisations to ensure a coordinated response.
The ETS is concentrating its efforts in Borno and Yobe states to ensure humanitarians can carry out their jobs efficiently and safety, ultimately saving more lives. ETS activities comprise:
- Upgrade of the existing UN security communications system to become CMOSS compliant;
- Provision of security telecommunications and Internet connectivity services in ten common operational areas, namely Maiduguri, Damaturu, Gwoza, Ngala, Monguno, Dikwa, Bama, Damasak, Rann and Banki;
- Strengthening coordination and information management services provided to the humanitarian community to ensure an effective and coordinated response.
*In Nigeria, all clusters are being referred to as sectors. The ETC is therefore operating as the ETS with all project plans, appeals, services and deployments adhering to established procedures.
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The VHF coverage in Abuja, Maiduguri and Damaturu needs to be enhanced to cover these operational areas, increasing the safety and security of humanitarians on the ground
Internet connectivity services from local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are often not reliable or available in newly accessible areas in North-East Nigeria. This is hindering the humanitarian response on the ground.