The emergency.lu rapid deployment mobile satellite telecommunications platform is one of the flagship projects of the Luxembourg Cooperation. First deployed in 2012 in response to the humanitarian crisis following the civil war in South Sudan, it is now in action in Ukraine.
emergency.lu, a platform that does not lack air
With the emergency.lu project Luxembourg is offering a rapid response satellite communication system for natural disasters and humanitarian missions worldwide. This mobile satellite communication system can be deployed within twelve hours of the alert being given.
Its primary objective is to restore or strengthen communications in a crisis situation to support the coordination of relief efforts and make the emergency response of the humanitarian community more effective.
After first deploying a terminal in 2012 in response to the humanitarian crisis following the civil war in South Sudan, other terminals have been erected in more than 20 different locations around the world.
Current deployments include the pre-positioning of two terminals in Poland for deployment to Ukraine in response to Russian aggression, and an operation in Tonga following the volcanic eruption that disrupted undersea fibre links.
The emergency.lu platform, which has been in existence for ten years now, was conceived and developed in the form of a public-private partnership, based on Luxembourg's skills and know-how in the field of ICT. Its financing from development cooperation budgets allows the Grand Duchy to offer it as a global public good to the international community.
The three areas of humanitarian aid in the Luxembourg development cooperation
In the event of crises or disasters, Luxembourg's humanitarian action covers the three main phases of the intervention cycle: emergency aid, reconstruction support and prevention. This is always done in accordance with the fundamental humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence.
With its humanitarian aid, the Grand Duchy can launch priority emergency relief in the event of humanitarian disasters, natural disasters or violent conflicts. Emergency relief is intended to meet the basic needs of people in distress.
This is followed by a transition stage aimed at laying the foundations for the resumption of everyday activities by reconstructing destroyed community and private infrastructures and rehabilitating basic services and means of subsistence.
Humanitarian aid also includes a third element, i.e. resilience and prevention. It consists of preparing communities at risk for likely crises and disasters by strengthening their socio-economic capacity and resistance and by setting up an environment more conducive to their sustainable development.
Fundamental humanitarian principles
Luxembourg's humanitarian aid is devised on the basis of compliance with four fundamental humanitarian principles, i.e.:
- the principle of humanity, the main aim of which is to save lives and alleviate suffering wherever it may be;
- the principle of impartiality, which consists of implementing aid by only taking into account needs without discriminating between or among affected populations;
- the principle of neutrality, meaning that where aid is implemented, humanitarian aid cannot take either side in the context of armed conflicts or other forms of confrontation;
- the principle of independence, which refers to the independence of humanitarian aid objectives from political, economic, military or other agendas in areas where it is implemented.