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IARU President Addresses ITU Telecom World ’14 in Qatar

12/10/2014

International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) President Timothy Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA,  highlighted the benefits of Amateur Radio during disasters in remarks at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World ’14. The conference concluded on December 10 in Doha, Qatar.

Ellam told the participants that radio amateurs are already there — in 170 countries — that Amateur Radio does not rely on commercial networks, and that hams have the technical know-how to disseminate information during disasters.

One example was the response of Amateur Radio volunteers, who responded to Typhoon Hagupit in The Philippines.

The 4-day international gathering in Qatar attracted some 3500 participants representing various fields of Information and communications technology. Speakers offered examples of how information technology is helping to save lives or mitigating the effects of natural disasters and climate change.

In his opening remarks, Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, offered some sobering statistics. “Between 2010-2012, 387 natural disasters, occurred, on average, each year, and they are on the rise,” he said. “During that time, more than 1.2 million lives were lost and 40 percent of the world’s population was affected.”

Sanou pointed to the more than 500,000 Philippine residents who were displaced as a result of Typhoon Hagupit.

 



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