Object: the Red Helmets Foundation of the former Minister, Nicole Guedj, sends its humanitarian container of telecommunications by satellites, EMERGESAT, on the next plane chartered by the French State in the direction of Haiti (departure 4:30 pm from the military base of Istres).
The violent earthquake which struck the region of Haiti in the night of January 13th provoked a total breakdown of the entire communications network. The governmental and non-governmental teams on the ground have consequently no means to organize the rescue, to coordinate their actions, nor to exchange their informations. Following the destruction of the French Embassy’s means of communication in Port-au-Prince, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs sought the Red Helmets Foundation for an immediate sending of its satellite "humanitarian kit " in Haiti*.
Developed by the Red Helmets Foundation** in partnership with the French Space Center (Cnes) and Thales Alenia Space, Emergesat is a management tool for humanitarian crises which enables:
- to communicate by satellite link
- to exchange data with centers of decision and distant services
- to establish a local radio network between the various teams of intervention thanks to GSM, VHF and WiFi technologies
- to respond the logistic needs by providing satellite mappings to improve knowledges of the land layout, to locate water resources and even to organise the movements of population.
Emergesat also transports several applications essential for rescue teams: tools for water quality analysis but also kits for telemedicine. They enable NGOs to estimate the state of the situation and to help the victims of disasters.
Another Emergesat container, fully provided with medical care and used by the Emergency Medical Services of Guyana, is being sent in Haiti to strengthen the intervention capacities of the medical teams.
Nicole Guedj, the former Minister and President of the Red Helmets Foundation said: ‘I am very moved by what happened in Haiti and have a special thought for the victims. Every year, this region of the world is confronted with major disasters and we have to use every single means to assist the local rescue teams which cannot face this disaster all by themselves. The Red Helmets Foundation Emergesat container will be displayed in only a few hours and will allow all the rescue teams to communicate between themselves and to intervene in a coordinated way. "
* A container Emergesat is at the disposal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2006.
** Created in 2006 by Nicole Guedj, former French Secretary of State, the Red Helmets Foundation aims at facilitating humanitarian aid through:
• Lobbying: The Red Helmets Foundation lobbies to obtain the creation of an « international humanitarian task force », called « Red Helmets » at the United Nations. This task force will prepare and coordinate the action of all rescue teams on a disaster field.
In 2004, after the Tsunami, Nicole Guedj, then Secretary of State of Victims Rights, convinced the French President Chirac to propose this project to Kofi Annan, on behalf of France. The former UN’s General Secretary accepted it. Today, this project is being reviewed at the United Nations and the Red Helmets Foundation is working thoroughly to mobilize the world leaders around this resolution.
More informations: Pour des Casques Rouges à l’ONU (Ed. Cherche-Midi).
• Innovation: The Red Helmets Foundation elaborates innovative technological tools to reinforce the humanitarian workers’ capacities on the field. Those tools are then lent to NGO’s and UN’s agencies.
Following the creation of Emergesat, we are currently working with Google on the creation of an international search engine for missing people following a disaster; on the development of new humanitarian food product with the French Academy of Sciences…
The Red Helmets Foundation is sponsored by Professor Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize, Mister Abdou Diouf, former President of the Republic of Senegal, General Secretary of the International Organization of La Francophonie and François Gros, Perpetual Secretary of the Academy of Sciences.