In 2011, the Luxembourg government launched emergency.lu in collaboration with businesses of Luxembourg's aerospace industry. With its project emergency.lu, Luxembourg offers a global satellite communications system allowing a rapid response to natural disasters and humanitarian missions. Emergency.lu has been operational since 1 January 2012.
The Luxembourg government decided to make emergency.lu globally available to the international humanitarian community as a public good, with the aim of helping to save lives in the early hours after a humanitarian catastrophe.
Emergency.lu is a global integrated communications platform, designed to help the humanitarian community and civil protection teams in the field (re-)establish telecommunication services, in order to ensure effective communication and coordination with the rescue teams.
The platform provides infrastructure and satellite capacity, communication terminals and logistics for rapid deployment in response to natural disasters or manmade crises.
Emergency.lu was initiated as a public-private partnership by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, in collaboration with HITEC Luxembourg, SES TechCom and Luxembourg Air Ambulance.
The system was developed in close collaboration with the World Food Programme, in support of its mission as leader in telecommunications during humanitarian emergencies.
It has been coordinated with the major international organisations such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations (UNOCHA) and the European Union, as well as agents of civil society and the private sector, such as Ericsson Response and Skype.
In the presence of representatives of the United Nations and member states, the Minister for Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, Marie-Josée Jacobs, officially launched emergency.lu on on 7 December 2011 in New York.
Its first deployment took place in the Republic of South Sudan in the early months of 2012. Emergency.lu was then deployed in November 2013 on the Philippines in order to reestablish connectivity after the passage of typhoon Haiyan.