Responding to the Nepal earthquake

Following the disastrous earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday, the Vodafone Foundation's Instant Network team is now in Kathmandu to help the humanitarian relief mission.

Just a few days later, we know that more than 5,000 people have died and 6,500 have been injured. Dozens of people are also reported to have been killed in neighbouring China and India.

We've deployed our Instant Network team to help. Our team leader, an Instant Network Technical Field Expert with the Vodafone Foundation, has arrived in Kathmandu Valley with the Instant Network Mini. This is an 11kg mobile network in a backpack, which can be set up in just 10 minutes, and is being deployed for the very first time to help with the recovery efforts.

The Instant Network team is there to offer support to local operators to establish mobile communications. This will help aid workers communicate during the relief effort, and enable people to contact their loved ones following the earthquake.

A team of employee volunteers is on standby to deploy additional Instant Network equipment, if necessary. Working alongside NGO Télécoms Sans Frontières, they’re currently awaiting instructions from the local operators and NGOs working in Nepal as to when and where the equipment should be deployed.

The Vodafone Foundation has also announced that it has made a donation of £100,000 to the UK Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to support the relief effort in Nepal.

This is the second time in two months that the Vodafone Foundation has responded with emergency telecommunications support in the aftermath of a natural disaster. In March, a team of volunteers were deployed to Tanna Island, Vanuatu, where they supported humanitarian calling operations to those affected by Cyclone Pam.

Andrew Dunnett, Vodafone Foundation Director, said:

"Establishing communications in the aftermath of a natural disaster is crucial, both for the coordination of aid and to enable those affected to reconnect with family and friends. Through our Instant Network programme, we are able to deploy our people and our technology to provide communications support at a critical time."