ITU and Thuraya forge partnership for portable satellite terminals.

In July 2006, the International Telecommunication Union and United Arab Emirates’ Thuraya Satellite cooperate to provide portable satellites for disaster relief to government authorities, rescue teams and humanitarian agencies for relief and rehabilitation efforts.

Both parties brought their strengths to this disaster risk management partnership: Thuraya contributes handheld satellite terminals along with solar chargers; ITU pays for airtime at discounted rates offered by Thuraya and cover the transportation costs of telecommunications equipment to and from disaster-hit areas. ITU also provides its expertise in technical and operational training for government officials involved in rescue missions.

In March 2011, ITU dispatched emergency telecommunications equipment to areas severely affected by the tsunami that struck the coastal areas of Japan following Friday’s devastating earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale.ITU deployed 78 Thuraya satellite phones equipped with GPS to facilitate search and rescue. Recently, Thuraya generously contributed to ITU’s efforts to save lives in Samoa, Uganda, Malawi, Pakistan, Indonesia,Sumatra and Japan in the immediate aftermath of devastating disasters.

Further information


Partnership types

Advocacy of global issues; Project funding; Provision of services / personnel; all (4)

Regions / countries / territories

Africa: Malawi; Uganda Asia: Indonesia; Japan; Pakistan Oceania: Samoa

Global issues

Disasters and humanitarian affairs

Goods categories


Business sectors

Telecommunications and IT products and services


Indonesia: Earthquake in North Sulawesi - Feb 2009; Haiti: Earthquakes - Jan 2010; all (6)