Afghanistan - Expert Mission

Afghanistan is a country exposed to earthquakes, floods, droughts, mass movements and other hazards. Recent droughts in the years 2000, 2006, and 2011 have impacted millions of Afghans. Earthquakes have also caused fatalities, injuries and losses of various kinds. On 22 June 2009, UN-SPIDER was invited to a briefing among United Nations agencies in Kabul to discuss how best to make use of spatial data/mapping tools to support disaster risk reduction and emergency response activities in Afghanistan.

United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)

Shirish Ravan, UN-SPIDER

The mission was conducted via an inter-agency meeting with representatives of United Nations agencies in Afghanistan that contribute to disaster risk management and emergency response efforts in this country.

The mission allowed UN agencies working under the umbrella of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) to become aware of UN-SPIDER, its mission, and the type of technical advisory support that it can provide to countries such as Afghanistan. The important role of remote sensing in humanitarian response and planning was underlined through examples provided by OCHA concerning recent floods that impacted this country, including the most recent one in May 2009, where UN-SPIDER was requested to provide technical support. UN-SPIDER pledged additional technical expertise to support both the Government and the United Nations Country Team in Afghanistan to ensure this forum is closely linked to available resources; and encouraged the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority to establish a working group as a way to promote the sharing of information as a way to improve efforts targeting disaster risk reduction and emergency response.