As global lead of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), the World Food Programme (WFP) has been approached by different Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) actors to lead the coordination of this service. With the support of the Government of Belgium, WFP is designing UAV coordination solutions for implementation within the broader humanitarian emergency preparedness and response community.

UAVs, widely known as drones, are aircraft that can fly remotely with no on-board pilot. The exceptional mobility and accessibility associated with this evolving technology is attracting increasing interest from humanitarian organisations. The use of UAVs in humanitarian contexts could bring many benefits, including higher data accuracy, faster data collection, and safer monitoring systems. With the benefits, however, come numerous challenges, from legal issues, ethical procurement and partnerships, and data protection, to transparency, privacy and community perception. Additionally, many disaster-prone countries, which could benefit from deployment of UAV in emergency response, have no regulations or guidelines on the use of this technology. 

The ETC does not lead the UAV Coordination Model project. However, as the ETC membership expressed increasing interest in regular updates on activities related to UAVs in emergency response, this discusison forum serves as a platform to exchange information  and share documentation.

More information available:

Operations: Information-sharing hub for UAV deployments

Documents: Code of Conduct, Best Practices, List of UAV Missions, lots more

Map: Crowdsourced Crisis Map of aerial videos/pictures of disaster areas

Laws: Wiki of UAV laws by country