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Natural Disasters: Monitoring

Volume 492: debated on Tuesday 12 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will assess the merits of increased use of satellite imagery to monitor the humanitarian conditions of those affected by natural disasters. (273837)

The Department for International Development (DFID) makes full use of UNOSAT, the UN programme which provides the international community with access to satellite imagery for use both in humanitarian relief and disaster prevention, on a day-to-day basis and in particular during humanitarian emergencies. For example, DFID used it to monitor the effects of Hurricane Ike and Cyclone Nargis.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will raise at the United Nations the potential for increased use of satellite imagery better to monitor the humanitarian situation of those affected by natural disasters. (273838)

The UN is already making increased use of satellite imagery to monitor humanitarian situations. The UN has developed the UNOSAT programme which provides the international community with access to satellite imagery for use both in humanitarian relief and disaster prevention.