Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by Hurricane Iota, a category 5 hurricane that has caused destruction across Central America. NetHope has been in frequent contact with our Members on the ground in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Colombia to identify the biggest needs and help create a coordinated response.
One of the key needs identified by our Members is connectivity. Telecommunications systems have become less reliable across the region due to increasing winds and flooding. NetHope has experience responding in similar disaster situations (most recently Hurricane Dorian and the Beirut explosion) and we have deployed an expert to assess the situation and determine the need for ICT, connectivity or alternate power support in the region. In the coming days, NetHope will be meeting with people in El Salvador and Nicaragua, focusing our initial energies in the region in Nicaragua as it has been identified as having the most need for connectivity support at this time.
We will consult with the government, local officials and NetHope Members in the area to assess their needs for communications and connectivity support, following Covid-19 guidelines. Through this, we hope to facilitate a coordinated response to bring reliable communications networks to those most affected by this devastating hurricane. Since 2018, NetHope has been working on a disaster preparedness program (overview, example activities) which has enabled us, and our Members and partners, to be better prepared to respond to the connectivity needs that arise when disasters strike, through training and prepositioning vital equipment.
NetHope Members, close Partners and friends that are currently responding to the needs of people affected by Hurricane Iota across Central America include: CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Cisco TacOps, Christian Aid, HIAS Venezuela, JRC European Commission, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, the Pacific Disaster Center, Samaritan’s Purse, Save The Children, SOS Children’s Villages International, Team Rubicon, and World Central Kitchen.
Special thanks go to AWS, Cisco, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook, for funding this NetHope response and enabling our team to support the ongoing efforts of our Members.
You can help bring connectivity to people in crisis, providing a lifeline for those who are cut-off from family and vital information due to disasters. To offer your support, donate to NetHope now.