Mobile phones are key to emergency aid in the Philippines

Mobile phones are key to emergency aid in the Philippines

As the world hears of the devastation in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, hundreds have rushed to provide the bare essentials for the thousands of people who have been forced out of their homes, their towns and villages lying in collapsed heaps around their feet.

But this time round, it’s not just food and water that are being hurriedly shipped out to the people of the Philippines; French charity, Télécoms Sans Frontières, is on the ground providing satellite phones to keep vital communication lines open.

TSF has already reconnected many of the communication lines flattened by the typhoon on 7 November, allowing rescue teams to liaise with incoming aid.

The non-profit organisation, which currently operates all over the world, has also given many survivors free three-minute phone calls to get in touch with loved ones.

The work of TSF, along with many other aid organisations, just shows how far technology has come in the past 20 years; mobile phones are no longer seen as luxuries but a necessity which could provide a real lifeline not only in the Philippines, but across the globe.