For health workers in remote areas and regions with complex geography, transportation challenges can disrupt the provision of quality care to children and pose constraints to early diagnosis. Transport efficiencies are also essential to supply chain management, particularly for moving temperature sensitive cargo, restocking essential medicines and supplies, and delivering life-saving emergency items in humanitarian contexts.
Unmanned aerial vehicles, or ‘drone’-based technologies and services are demonstrating the ability to deliver life-saving materials, and in so doing, generate substantial social benefits. UNICEF and partners are exploring and assessing the industry capabilities, dynamics and economic viability of using drones to reach previously unreachable populations. UNICEF’s drones programme aims to better understand these opportunities, address key considerations in the use of drones, and craft a practical way forward for UNICEF to globally leverage this technology to protect and advance the rights of children.
The programme is exploring a range of applications, including:
- Vaccine delivery/transport;
- Improved connectivity in hard-to-reach communities; and
- Aerial imaging for better preparedness and response in emergencies.