When disasters strike they have devastating effects on people's lives, and on the economy. The latest data show that from 2016 to 2017 more than 301 million people were affected by disasters. More than three million people were homeless and the total damage surpassed 481 million USD. The impact is even worse for those living in remote and isolated areas with no access to basic information and communication facilities. Emergency telecommunications play a critical role in disaster risk reduction and management.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has also helped raise awareness of the importance of disaster risk reduction and management. Of the 17 goals for sustainable development established by the United Nations (UN), Goals 1, 2, 11 and 13 make reference to the need of nations and communities to address the challenges of disasters.
ICTs are critical to deliver early warnings and in the immediate aftermath of disasters by ensuring timely flow of vital information.