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This in-depth investigation of the use of drones in humanitarian crises is the first of its kind to determine if, how, and under what circumstances drones can add value to humanitarian operations in disaster areas. The most promising uses of drones include:
• Delivering lightweight essential items to remote or hard-to-access locations
• Supporting damage assessments
• Increasing situational awareness
• Monitoring changes
A three-day emergency response simulation tested the use of drones in support of search and rescue operations in a hypothetical country affected by a severe refugee crisis while being hit by a hurricane with subsequent flooding and landslides. The test showed that drones were of limited use in this simulation but that they have potential to become part of the emergency response toolkit for very specific tasks.
Formed in 1997 as the result of a citizens' initiative, the FSD is now ten years old. This anniversary coincides with the 10-year anniversary of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, also called the Ottawa Treaty. But this Convention, which has been signed by 154 countries, must not suggest that contamination by landmines and explosive remnants of war is now a thing of the past.