A recent review of UNOSAT activities has revealed a substantial increase in requests directed to UNOSAT by the humanitarian community. The Humanitarian Rapid Mapping service of UNOSAT, launched in 2003, has been created to meet the demand of OCHA and other humanitarian agencies and NGOs part of the IASC (the Inter-agency Standing Committee on humanitarian coordination hosted by the UN) for rapid mapping and satellite derived analysis in wake of disasters and complex emergencies.
Thanks to predictable donor funding coming from Norway, Sweden and Denmark, UNOSAT has been able to meet 100% of this demand since 2007. Since the inception of the service, UNOSAT has performed 173 activations, with a record of 46 in 2007 and 34 already in 2009.
Significantly, UNOSAT has registered a steady increase of interventions in crises due to conflict and complex emergencies over the last two years passing from 6% during 2003-2007 to 26% in 2008-2009).
UNOSAT is used by the UN system as a main channel to request the triggering of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters, which provides free satellite data in case of large scale natural disasters. One quarter of all UNOSAT activations occur within the context of the International Space Charter, which shows the importance of this arrangement designed by several national space agencies and ESA to help the UN system respond to humanitarian emergencies.