Drones, biometrics, satellite imagery and more: UN agencies demonstrate how advances in technology are improving humanitarian aid

Published on 20 September 2018

NEW YORK – When diplomats from around the world convene in New York for the annual General Assembly on 24 September, they will be greeted by a dramatic interactive exhibit of technological innovations in the humanitarian sector.

The exhibit will use virtual reality, “augmented reality” and other audio-visual platforms to illustrate ways the United Nations is improving humanitarian response. Examples featured include blockchain, digital cash, biometrics, drones, satellite imagery and data surveys by mobile phone. 

The multi-media exhibit, in the 46th Street entry foyer of UN headquarters, will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 24-28 September, accessible to any UN-accredited media and to others with UN grounds passes. 

The exhibit is presented jointly by the World Food Programme, UN Global Pulse and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. Representatives of all three will be available for interviews.
                                         #                           #                            #

The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data is a growing network of more than 320 organizations, including governments, businesses and civil society organizations, working around the world to harness the data revolution for sustainable development. The Global Partnership has elevated data issues at a political level, launched a multi-million-dollar Collaborative Data Innovations for Sustainable Development funding initiative, and supported the advancement of country-led Data Roadmaps for Sustainable Development in: Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Costa Rica. Follow @Data4SDGs on Twitter.

UN Global Pulse is an innovation initiative of the UN Secretary-General on big data. Global Pulse's network of innovation labs in New York, Uganda and Indonesia allow UN System partners to discover and mainstream applications of big data and AI for sustainable development and humanitarian action. Global Pulse's policy agenda focuses on public-private "data philanthropy" partnerships, and data privacy and ethics for responsible use. 

The United Nations World Food Programme -- saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future. Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media 

For more information please contact:
Steve Taravella, WFP, steve.taravella@wfp.org, Tel. +1-646-556-6909, Mob.  +1-202-770-5993
Shada Moghraby, WFP, shada.moghraby@wfp.org, Tel. + 1-646-556-6914, Mob. +1-929-289-9867
Felicia Vacarelu, Global Pulse, felicia@unglobalpulse.org, Tel: 646 723 4810 Mob. +1- 202-906-0774
Jennifer O’Neill Oldfield, GPSDD, joldfield@data4sdgs.org, +1-347-327- 6568