Early Warning System for Food Security

Science Center Objects

Satellite data archived at EROS serves a critical role in the assessment of food security for FEWS NET – the Famine Early Warning System Network.

Screenshot of the famine early warning systems network map

FEWS NET was created in 1985 by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) after devastating famines in East and West Africa. FEWS NET provides objective, evidence-based analysis to help government decision-makers and relief agencies plan for and respond to humanitarian crises.

EROS works with USAID, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Chemonics International (Chemonics) to provide the data, information, and analyses needed for FEWS NET. NASA and NOAA collect and process satellite data that are used to monitor the vegetation condition (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, or NDVI) and rainfall (RainFall Estimate, or RFE) across the entire African continent. The NDVI and RFE data are but two tools used by FEWS NET to monitor agricultural conditions in Africa.

EROS also offers technical support services to FEWS NET in the use of remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) technologies. Using its hardware, software and human resources, EROS develops and provides specialized processing and analyses to the FEWS NET. Additionally, EROS has developed specialized software for use by the FEWS NET field staff and provides long-term data archive and distribution services.

For more information, including data portals and data downloads, visit the FEWS NET data portal.