International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) provides vital support to Ugandans who are rebuilding from decades of war while hosting a growing influx of refugees. As a result, the organisation requires reliable and secure 24/7 internet access in order to coordinate its relief efforts across the country.
Liquid Telecom Infocom has been working with IRC in Uganda over the last year to significantly improve its communications infrastructure, establishing dedicated fibre links between its headquarters in Kampala and other regional offices across the country.
Thanks to Liquid Telecom Infocom, IRC has seen a marked improvement in its internal communications, enabling information to be relayed quicker between refugee settlements across Uganda.
IRC's mission is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future. IRC first began working in Uganda in 1998 to help the 1.8 million Ugandans who had been forced to flee their homes as a result of the LRA conflict.
It has been committed to protecting women and children from violence and exploitation, and helping communities rebuild. As a growing number of South Sudanese refugees flee to Uganda, it has also been working in three of the main districts hosting them.
IRC teams and partners currently reach more than 1,284,492 people in Uganda with lifesaving support. Its relief work focuses on three key areas; health, education and economic wellbeing.
As Uganda struggles to recover from the effects of war and hosts a growing population of refugees, IRC must be able respond to a refugee crisis or emergency anywhere in the country.
It currently has refugee responses across four districts in Uganda: Kampala, Kiryandongo, Adjumani and Yumbe. The most recent of these is the Bidibidi refugee settlement in the district of Yumbe in Northern Uganda, which opened in August 2016 and now supports over 100,000 South Sudanese refugees. A new settlement area with a capacity for up to 80,000 refugees opened recently at Bidibidi, bringing the settlement's total capacity to 180,000. At the same time, IRC continues to be involved in programmes at refugee settlements in both Kiryandongo and Adjumani.
Communications is critical to the day-to-day work of IRC staff at these settlements, which rely on the internet to process information about refugees as well as access files remotely.
Liquid Telecom Infocom deployed a dedicated fibre link between IRC's country headquarters in Kampala and regional offices serving the districts of Kiryandongo, Adjumani and Yumbe.
This fibre connectivity provides IRC with greater bandwidth for its internal applications and systems, as well as offering higher speeds and quality of service. IRC staff also leverage the network to connect with colleagues in IRC's regional Africa headquarters in neighbouring Kenya.
To ensure IRC has continuous connectivity throughout its operations in Uganda, Liquid Telecom Infocom established a secondary backup WiMAX link, which serves the organisation in the event of a fibre cut.
Reliable and secure internet connectivity has provided the foundations for IRC to advance its IT and communications strategy in Uganda.
As a result of its improved network service, IRC has been able to migrate more systems, services and applications online to support its staff in Uganda. This includes introducing Office 365 and a new budgeting system.
IRC is also working on a new virtual private network (VPN), which will bring its Uganda operations in-line with the wider IRC group's IT and communication strategy. It is a mandate from the global headquarters that all IRC country operations migrate to VPN connections in the coming years.
Most importantly, IRC has been able to rely on Liquid Telecom Infocom's network for continuous 24/7 internet access, driving greater efficiency across all of its operations in Uganda and resulting in faster action at refugee settlements.
“In the past, internet connectivity has been a major challenge for IRC across Uganda. Since becoming a customer of Liquid Telecom Infocom, we have seen a major improvement in our overall communications, which is enabling our staff to relay information quicker and resulting in faster action in the field.”
IT Officer at IRC Uganda.