08/04/2012 08:17 BST | Updated 08/06/2012 06:12 BST

Disaster Smartphone App Planned By UK Government For Rescue Workers

A smartphone natural disaster "app" is in the pipeline under Government plans to exploit new technology to help victims of floods, famines and earthquakes.

International aid cash is being ploughed into innovative ways of supporting people hit by man-made and natura tragedies.

Among the ideas being looked at is the use of smartphone apps to reunite family members, mobile phones to track

survivors and Twitter to give medical advice.

Video game technology could also be used to train people in disaster response scenarios.

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell is bringing together a group of international leaders on April 20 at the World Bank to push for a stronger focus and investment to develop technology.

The UK is planning to embed disaster resilience plans, such as giving communities the skills to maintain food supplies across times of shortage, into all its aid programmes by 2015.

Mr Mitchell said: "The simple fact is that the frequency and severity of disasters will continue to increase and international governments need to stay one step ahead, encouraging a 'tomorrow's world' culture.

"We live in an exciting world in terms of technological advancements but must ensure this translates into practical measures that improve our ability to save lives.

"Britain has a proud history at the forefront of science and technology and through this project we will see that continue."

The British Government will fund a range of innovative projects over the next three years by using £48.5 million of existing aid money.

Nicolas Kröger, manager of the Humanitarian Fund, Save the Children, said: "Our vision is a humanitarian system that is capable of innovating and adapting to meet the needs of today and tomorrow, and the British Government shares and supports us in realising this vision.

"In our first year we have allocated funds to 14 innovative projects and have started to change the way the sector approaches and thinks about innovation.

"The Government's ongoing support means that we can build on this by organising additional funding calls and by promoting innovation as a means of achieving significant improvements in humanitarian performance."