Floods in Bangladesh in 2019. Image: UN Women Asia and the Pacific.

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is leveraging space-based information to support government and humanitarian agencies in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region with timely information for flood early warning and inundation mapping. The efforts, which consist of developing a streamflow prediction system for flood early warning and of providing near real-time flood maps for disaster... read more

Publishing Date: 19/08/2020
Flash floods in Afghanistan in 2016.

According to the International Disaster Database, floods and other hydrological hazards have claimed 15,000 lives and cost an estimated USD 396 million in Afghanistan between 1980 and 2015. Earlier this year, flash floods following heavy rains killed at least 60 people in the country's eastern province of Badakhshan.

Leveraging a new meteorological satellite... read more

Publishing Date: 25/08/2017
Image courtesy of the European Space Agency (ESA) of a sandstorm over the Persian Gulf in 2008.
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and Space Agency of the Islamic Republic of Iran will organize a workshop focusing on the use of space technology for dust storm and drought monitoring in the Middle East region. 
This workshop, to be conducted in Tehran from 5 to 9 November 2016, will be hosted by the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) on behalf of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. It will explore how space technologies can help to prevent and respond to natural disasters related to dust storms and droughts in a changing climate. 
As other on-going and planned UNOOSA events, this workshop will also focus on the thematic priorities of the UNISPACE+50 process and  the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UN-SPIDER will be represented as the... read more
Publishing Date: 30/08/2016
Regional Support Offices mentioned:
Hindu Kush Region of Afghanistan struck by 7.5 earthquake on 26 October (Image: USGS).

The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters has been triggered to provide satellite-based emergency maps in response to the 7.5 magnitude strong earthquake that struck the Hindu Kush region of north eastern Afghanistan at 09:09 UTC on 26 October.... read more

Publishing Date: 28/10/2015
Satellite image of an isolated settlement in Kano, Nigeria (Image: DigitalGlobe)

A joint project between DigitalGlobe and many volunteers has helped in the eradication of polio through mapping of villages in developing countries during vaccination campaigns. The mapping of the often isolated settlements was complicated and apart from analysing big data captured by satellites, DigitalGlobe had to rely on volunteers and crowdsourcing based on the Tomnod programme. The final result is a map covering 285,103 villages in Nigeria, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

These maps are used to ensure that vaccination campaigns have the required data to search for everyone who needs to be immunized against the illness and know the amount of medical doses and human staff that ought to be sent. In the past two months polio was finally eliminated from the whole African continent after it disappeared... read more

Publishing Date: 17/08/2015
The new agreement is aimed to provide assistance to all Saarc member states affected by disasters (Image: Krish Dulal)

An agreement signed by all South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) states (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan and India) is underway to promote a rapid response to natural disasters.

A Saarc monitoring system including tools for early warning system and risk... read more

Publishing Date: 29/04/2015
Satellite Image of Snow Cover in Afghanistan

In 2004 the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Afghanistan Geological Survey (AGS) began working in partnership to rebuild the country's geologic science capacities. The goal is to monitor Afghanistan's water resources by applying modern techniques using global positioning systems, hydrology, water sampling and development of water resource databases.

During the first year of this partnership over 150 wells were inventoried creating a data subset. Today, the programme is successfully installed and 102 ... read more

Publishing Date: 21/08/2014

UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Pakistan supported emergency response efforts following the massive landslide in Afghanistan on 2 May 2014. The experts prepared impact and damage maps for Ab Barek in the Province Badakhshan.

The maps depict an analysis based on SPOT 5 satellite imagery from 17 January 2014 received at SUPARCO's Satellite... read more

Publishing Date: 20/05/2014
Regional Support Offices mentioned:
International Charter activation for floods in Afghanistan, satellite images

The Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) made an appeal for greater support for disaster risk reduction efforts in the country.

As UN-SPIDER reported, the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated over the weekend due to mudslides in the Province Badahkshan. Officials expect the death toll to reach over 500 people, 4000 are displaced.

Environmental degradation and the proximity of villages to landslides-prone area were the major factors influencing the scope of the disaster. “What happened over the week end in Argu is a lesson learned for all of us who are working to reduce disaster risk,” said Mohammad Ajmal Karimi, ANDMA... read more

Publishing Date: 08/05/2014
satellite images to track flooding in Afghanistan

The International Charter: Space and Major Disaster was activated on 29 April 2014 by UNITAR/UNOSAT on behalf of UNOCHA. Heavy rain in northern Afghanistan caused flash flooding on 25 April, killed over 120 people and tens of thousands were evacuated.

In the provinces of Jowzjan, Faryab and Sar-e Pol at least thousand homes were destroyed, infrastructure and agriculture were severely affected. The area is particularly prone to flood.

Images and data products are already available on the International Charter’s website.

Publishing Date: 02/05/2014

For the first time, about 70 percent of a country has been mapped using an advanced remote sensing technique known as hyperspectral imaging. In order to assist Afghanistan in understanding their abundant natural resources, in particular the development of an economically viable minerals market, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of Defense Task Force for Business and Stability Operations led an effort to fully map Afghanistan with hyperspectral data.

Airborne hyperspectral sensors measure light reflected from the earth. The... read more

Publishing Date: 18/07/2012

On June 22nd, an inter-agency briefing with UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER took place in Kabul to determine how best to make use of spatial data/mapping tools to support disaster risk reduction and emergency... read more

Publishing Date: 22/06/2009

Advisory Support

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.

Mission dates: 22/06/2009
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