by Anthony Weaver

Thursday 20th May 2021 – Avanti Communications (Avanti), a leading provider of satellite technology across EMEA, has commenced its collaboration with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, with the delivery and installation of free solar powered satellite broadband connectivity and laptops to seven UNHCR sites in remote and off grid refugee settlements in Uganda.  

East Africa and Uganda, in particular, host some of the largest refugee populations in the world. Avanti is committed to mobilising its satellite technology to support refugees, host communities and humanitarian organizations in the region, through providing access to connectivity in the remotest of the locations.  

The donation is comprised of solar connectivity equipment, installation, laptops for each site, tablets, bandwidth, maintenance and customer support. The connectivity will enable refugees and their host communities to access information, humanitarian and livelihood services; working to create revenue generating opportunities, increase refugee self-reliance and ease the pressure on host countries.  

Avanti’s connected sites are in Adjumani, Bidibidi, Imvepi, Kiryandongo, Palabek and Rhino Camp refugee settlements. These settlements predominantly host refugees who fled conflict and violence in South Sudan.  

“Avanti is focused on using its corporate giving initiatives to put digital devices into the hands of those who need them most, ensuring that refugees and the host communities have access to reliable, high-speed, high-quality internet service. The installations are a practical route towards bridging the digital divide,” says Lucy Murtagh, CSR Manager at Avanti. 

This Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partnership between Avanti and UNHCR was first announced at the UN Global Refugee Forum in Geneva in December 2019. The completion of installations at the six sites realises Avanti’s pledge at the Forum to support UNHCR through the provision of connectivity, increasing opportunities for people in some of the most disconnected locations. 

Emma Cherniavsky, CEO, UK for UNHCR, added: “Corporate partnerships play a vital role in supporting UNHCR’s humanitarian work. Avanti’s generosity and wealth of technical expertise will truly transform the lives of refugees and host communities, with connectivity that opens up opportunities to better access education and livelihoods opportunities.”    

Avanti’s Chief Executive Officer, Kyle Whitehill says, “Creating connections that improve lives is a driving force for our business. Avanti has launched and now operates satellites that deliver connectivity in areas difficult to reach, with the aim of helping people to realise their ambitions and build a better future for themselves and their families.” 

“We believe that refugees and the communities that host them must be part of a connected society and have access to technology that helps them build a better future for themselves and their families,” says UNHCR Representative to Uganda, Joel Boutroue thanking Avanti for its contribution towards the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees in Uganda. 

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