South Asia: USAID Humanitarian Assistance in Review, 2000 - Present

from US Agency for International Development
Published on 22 Dec 2009

Chronic conflict, earthquakes, and recurrent seasonal storms, floods, and droughts, as well as limited government response capacity, present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in South Asia. The South Asia region comprises the Indian subcontinent and surrounding countries, encompassing Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Since 2000, USAID/OFDA and USAID's Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) have provided humanitarian assistance in response to a diverse range of natural and complex emergencies in the region, including cyclones in Bangladesh, earthquakes in India and Pakistan, tsunami impacts in India and Sri Lanka, and complex crises in Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

Between Fiscal Year (FY) 2000 and FY 2009, USAID provided more than $545 million in disaster response programming in South Asia. USAID/OFDA assistance included more than $294 million for health, nutrition, protection, agriculture and food security, economic recovery and market systems, humanitarian coordination and information management, logistics and relief commodities, shelter and settlements, and water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions, as well as the local and regional procurement of food aid. Additionally, in the last ten years, USAID/FFP provided approximately $251 million in food aid. USAID deployed multiple humanitarian assessment teams in the past decade, including six Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs), to the region. DARTs deployed to India during FY 2001 and Pakistan during FY 2006 and FY 2009 following destructive earthquakes, to Bangladesh during FY 2008 after Cyclone Sidr, and to Pakistan during FY 2009 in response to the ongoing complex emergency. Members of a multicountry DART responded to impacts of the FY 2005 Indian Ocean tsunami in India and Sri Lanka. In addition, USAID activated Washington, D.C.,-based Response Management Teams to support DART coordination and response efforts.