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Dubai conference unveils WiFi service for refugees

Filed on March 5, 2018
Dubai conference unveils WiFi service for refugees

(File photo)

Dihad unveils YahClick WiFi to meet requirements of NGO units

A new WiFi service was launched in refugee camps to help integrate displaced individuals into post-crises societies, it was announced on Monday.

With the average life inside a camp can go over 17 years, providing refugees with Internet will help elevate education and keep them connected to the world.

During the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (Dihad), IEC Telecome Group and Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat) unveiled, YahClick WiFi, to meet the requirements of NGO units.

YahClick WiFi will be provided to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and World Food Programme to help people in Middle East and Africa camps have access to better healthcare and education services, besides empowering the frontline staff to help generate the right first response to tackle the emergency crises.

Nabil Ben Soussia, managing director at IEC Telecom Group, said while humanitarian agencies help in providing food and shelter to camps, the long-term question now is what happens after camp life.

The UNHCR's latest education report revealed that 3.5 million refugee children lack access to education. Only 61 per cent of refugee children attend primary school, compared with a global average of 91 per cent.

And while young people are at the forefront of Internet adoption, nearly 9 out of 10 young individuals who live in Africa or Asia and the Pacific don't use the Internet (compared to 94 per cent of young people in the developed countries and 67 per cent in developing countries).

Providing Internet will help connect refugees to e-learning solutions and give real-time experience in different universities and schools around the world.

"It's about providing sustainable operations inside the camp and giving access to normal life. You cannot integrate people in societies if they have been absent for over a decade without access to Internet," said Ben Soussia. He added that innovation and technology allows for more solutions inside the camp.

"The WiFi service aims to aid NGOs in creating a micro-economy inside the camp and providing enhanced healthcare and education services," he said.

"Humanitarian organisations need to have reliable and readily available means of communication to stay connected with their teams regardless of their location."

YahClick WiFi operates on KA band, offering 16 Mbps with coverage across the Middle East and Africa. The installation of the system is designed to take less than 24 hours with data distribution coverage of 250m from the base station.

Themed 'Sustainability of Emergency Aid,' Dihad will witness the participation of over 600 companies from 84 countries around the world until March 7.

sherouk@khaleejtimes.com

 

author

Sherouk Zakaria

"Born and raised in UAE, Sherouk Zakaria is a Senior Correspondent at Khaleej Times. Joined since May 2016, she covers Dubai Municipality, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), special events and humanitarian issues. Her choice of journalism as a career stems from her passion of telling people's stories and writing to inspire or make a difference. In her free time, she's an occasional theater and film actress. Sherouk received her BA in Mass Communications from the American University in Sharjah in 2013. Before joining Khaleej Times, she was a senior lifestyle/entertainment editor for a magazine in Dubai."


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