WFP and Government of Mozambique Explore Innovative Approaches to Disaster Response

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 14 Nov 2017

MAPUTO –The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the National Institute of Disaster Management are developing a common framework for the effective use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology (commonly known as drones) for emergency response in the country.

Starting today in Maputo, a three-day workshop and emergency simulation exercise will convene various experts from the humanitarian, government, academic and private sectors. It aims to define the framework for use of UAV technology for humanitarian purposes, formulate approaches to disaster response, and address potential safety and data protection risks.

Mozambique remains one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, highly vulnerable to extreme climatic events such as floods and cyclones. These destroy infrastructure and restrict economic growth, undermining attempts to eradicate poverty.

“When disaster strikes, the humanitarian community’s ability to mount an immediate and effective response is often the difference between life and death.’’ said Karin Manente, Country Director in Mozambique. “Use of UAV technology will go a long way to provide more reliable and precise intelligence for real-time, life-saving decision making.”

The workshop in Maputo is the final of a series of four initiatives carried out as part of a pilot supported by the Belgium Development Cooperation in 2017. WFP supported similar workshops in the Dominican Republic, Myanmar and Peru, which like Mozambique are all prone to disasters.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.