Saving lives in emergencies through resilient telecommunications and preparedness

Developing a telecommunications response plan

Odontungalag Buyanjargal
Participants of the emergency preparedness session
UNICEF Mongolia
12 May 2022

14 April, Ulaanbaatar - A two-day long emergency telecommunications exercise on earthquake preparedness was held on 13-14 April in the Novotel Hotel of Ulaanbaatar with the participation of specialists from the Ministry of Digital Development and Communication (MDDC), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Communication Regulatory Committee, and the local mobile network operator companies. The desktop exercise was the second of the two -phased drill on earthquake preparedness in Ulaanbaatar. The first training took place in November 2021.The series of exercises supported by UNICEF and the World Food Programme aimed at improving Mongolia’s emergency telecommunications resilience by helping to develop a telecommunications response plan and timely identification and assessment of damages to telecommunications.

“Resilient telecommunications in Mongolia is a must, as the country is at risk from earthquakes and other disasters. Preparing in advance for emergencies is the way to go. This simulation exercise is an important step in that direction. The exercise aims at taking stock of existing capacities and identifying next steps to build resilience,”

Evariste Kouassi-Komlan, UNICEF Representative in Mongolia

Mongolia presents one of the most seismically active regions of Central Asia. In 2020 alone, the country recorded more than 11,000 earthquakes, a five-fold increase in the past 15 years. According to the Mongolian Government, this situation demands a constant improvement of Mongolia’s disaster response capacity and preparedness, a necessary pre-condition for risk reduction in the future, especially in the capital city, which has witnessed massive population and infrastructure growth in recent years.

UNICEF is one of the leading agencies in the UN Mongolia Humanitarian Country Team's Emergency Telecommunication Cluster, and together with WFP Global coordinates the national emergency telecommunications preparedness activities. The Government of Mongolia acknowledged the importance of the telecommunication sector preparedness. At the first consultation meeting with the national high-level stakeholders last year it was decided to organize an emergency response tabletop simulation exercise in collaboration with the telecommunication sector of Mongolia.

An official presenting the emergency preparedness response
UNICEF Mongolia
An official presenting during the training on emergency preparedness

“UNICEF is commited to and will continue improving emergency telecommunication preparedness in the country, a foundation for saving lives in any emergency,” said Mr Kouassi-Komlan.