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ACORAB receives WSIS Champion Prize 2024 for role in disaster preparedness

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has awarded the WSIS Champion Prize 2024 under the media category to the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (ACORAB) for its role in disaster response and community resilience. 

ACORAB is an umbrella organisation of 382 community radio stations of Nepal. The award coincided with the World Summit of Information Society (WSIS) + Forum High-Level Event held from 27 to 31 May 2024 in Geneva.

ACORAB has not only demonstrated the powerful role of local community radios in disaster management and enhancing community resilience in times of crisis, but it has also made substantial contributions towards achieving several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since 2012, ITU has been awarding the prize to the best initiatives worldwide that strive to achieve the SDGs using information and communication technology.

ACORAB was instrumental in responding to the devastating 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck the western part of Nepal on November 3, 2023 and which caused severe casualties and damage. With financial support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), ACORAB swiftly responded by empowering all local radio stations and media organisations.

This helped the community radio stations to recover, build resilience and independently resume their critical services, counter misinformation and promote transparency, as well as play a constructive role during the relief and recovery stages of the earthquake.

With ACORAB’s help, the radio stations improved communication channels as well as facilitated greater collaboration among the earthquake-affected communities, local authorities, and relief organisations. The community radios also ensured information and relief materials reached marginalised and vulnerable groups.