Monday, 2 May 2011

USAID to use geospatial data in international development efforts

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) teams up with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to expand International Development efforts by applying geospatial technologies to overcome challenges in food security, climate change, and energy and environmental management in many developing countries.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah has just recently signed a five-year memorandum of understanding that formalises on-going agency collaborations that use Earth science data to address developmental challenges, and to assist in disaster mitigation and humanitarian responses.

“Technologies for NASA missions have long improved life here on Earth. Together with USAID, we’ll meet even more sustainable development challenges here on the ground, solving problems for the world community,” Bolden said in an official statement.

“As we explore space, we’ll also be exploring solutions to important health, nutritional and safety challenges in developing countries,” he said.

The agencies will continue collaborations to stimulate innovative science and technology solutions to international development challenges by using Earth science data, research results, computer models, visualisation applications and remote-sensing techniques.

USAID is the lead federal development agency implementing U.S. development efforts through field-based programs and projects around the world. NASA has broad experience with Earth science research, development of Earth science information products, and technology applications.

USAID provides international development assistance to five regions of the world namely; Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and Eurasia, and the Middle East.

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