UNHCR goes digital to get aid to refugees

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is using digital mapping technology to coordinate the supply of aid to refugee camps such as Kashusha, outside Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Kashusha camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Kashusha camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The agency is currently tracking more than 300 refugee camps in this way. People living in the camps require different aid and services from the UN agency depending on their needs. Planning and providing services such as water, sanitation, health, education and security requires mapping of the area, which UNHCR previously did entirely by hand.

Now the agency uses a small team of people to map the camps using a geographical information system and software support to improve accuracy.

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