Drones for Humanitarian and Environmental Applications


Drones in Humanitarian Action

“Drones in Humanitarian Action” is an in-depth analysis of the role that drones (also known as UAVs or RPASs) can play in humanitarian crises. It is based on two years of research as well as multiple stakeholder consultations.

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Case Study No. 2: Delivery – Using Drones for Medical Payload Delivery in Papua New Guinea


Type of system: Matternet One Prototype, Multicopter Microdrone
Deploying Agency: Médecins Sans Frontières (France)
Piloting Agency: Matternet
Dates of Deployment: September 2014 


The limited access to healthcare diagnostics due to severe logistical constraints in Papua New Guinea has led Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to be one of the first humanitarian organizations to test the use of delivery drones. In 2014, technological challenges restricted the field use of this technology, but important lessons concerning acceptability and proof of concept are setting the stage for improvements in future missions.
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Case Study No.1: Mapping – Flood Mapping for Disaster Risk Reduction: Obtaining High-Resolution Imagery to Map and Model Flood Risks in Dar es Salaam.


Type of system: eBee Fixed Wing Mapping Microdrone
Deploying Agency: World Bank and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team
Piloting Agency: Drone Adventures
Dates of Deployment: February and March 2015


Drones provided high-resolution, up-to-date imagery that was essential to the development of exposure maps and for modeling flood risks in Dar es Salaam. The success of the project has led to further applications and to government funding for infrastructure improvements in vulnerable areas identified by the project.

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Drones in Humanitarian Action is partially funded by DG ECHO. This website covers humanitarian aid activities implemented with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of the European Union, and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.