Aid agency ‘Concern’ uses GIS to fight hunger in Africa

Aid agency ‘Concern’ uses GIS to fight hunger in Africa

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Aid agency ‘Concern’ has received a donation from ESRI Ireland for 30 copies of their product ArcView. Using GIS Concern can map and assess the vulnerability of areas where it provides aid. ArcView allows the agency to have a spatial understanding of the nutrition and food security vulnerabilities in the areas of work. This allows them to plan their interventions in areas of greatest need. ‘Concern’ is currently piloting the GIS software in several countries in Africa including Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Niger.

The ArcView software is instrumental in furthering the aid agency’s understanding of the context of where they are working. It offers potential for improving analysis of the areas of work and allows us to plan the most effective response to the most vulnerable communities. In some African countries there are very few accurate maps available in the areas where Concern is working. The agency’s staff is now creating maps using ArcView software. The benefit of this to all our future activity is immeasurable. Beforehand the staff relied on memory to draw the area they were working and to estimate the location of communities and villages. In Malawi, the national government already uses ESRI software. Now that Concern has the software, they are able to feed into the national data collection and analysis of the food security and nutrition situation to provide a real picture of the extent of hunger and poverty across the country.