Drones may be best known for their surveillance and military capabilities, but there’s a growing movement to use them for humanitarian aid. Inventor Mark Jacobsen is building drones to deliver humanitarian aid to Syrians stuck inside their war-torn country. But as he’s learning, bureaucracy — combined with public fears about the use of drones — has hamstrung efforts to get that aid anywhere near the Syrian border.
Global Medic, an aid agency based in Canada, is using drones — or UAVs — to help scope out remote areas in need of aid. And while they can't deliver supplies just yet, the group says they're still a vital way to get quick results when disasters hit.
When disasters like earthquakes strikes in far-off countries, our first instinct is to help in any way we can. But sometimes that help actually gets in the way of recovery. That's what reporter Jonathan Katz experienced after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and he has suggestions on how to avoid a repeat.
Days after the earthquake hit Nepal, Shrochis Karki says some rural villages have still seen few signs of help. And while he's been working from his home in England to coordinate relief efforts, he says part of the blame lies with the world's fixation on dramatic human interest stories and not real problems.
The news of a US-based case of Ebola has led to hostility against many Liberians and other Africans in the United States. But Liberian Americans are focusing on delivering aid, in many forms, to families affected by the Ebola crisis back home.
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