Natural and human-induced disasters adversely affect hundreds of millions of people every year. In an effort to minimize the impact on vulnerable populations, USAID/OFDA supports various DRR programs aimed at saving lives; protecting livelihoods, assets, and infrastructure before, during, and after a disaster; and increasing communities' resilience to natural hazards. USAID/OFDA programs promote self-sufficiency in DRR by strengthening the capacity of governments at all levels and communities to identify, manage, and reduce the impacts of natural disasters through sustainable, multi-sectoral programs, as well as to prepare for and respond to potential crises in a timely and efficient manner.
USAID/OFDA and implementing partners engage communities, national and local governments, international and regional organizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to develop effective DRR strategies tailored to the needs of at-risk populations. USAID/OFDA promotes dialogue and coordinated action among stakeholders to address DRR in an integrated and comprehensive manner. In addition to supporting regional and country-level programming related to floods, droughts, cyclones, extreme weather events, tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanoes, USAID/OFDA provides technical assistance and supports global DRR initiatives. These initiatives will reduce vulnerability to natural hazards affecting the community or household, as well as build the resilience of the community.
In addition to participating in larger U.S. Government efforts, USAID/OFDA is among the global leaders in supporting worldwide DRR activities. USAID/OFDA participates in DRR globally through membership on governing boards, influencing the development of sound DRR policies among key partners, such as U.N. humanitarian agencies and the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery. In addition, USAID/OFDA DRR and sectoral experts have contributed to the development of technical guidelines, such as the Sphere standards, and provided technical expertise to host nations on DRR.
Many countries face a wide range of challenges and constraints in their efforts to reduce vulnerability to natural hazards. USAID/OFDA has implemented activities in various sectors to assist in preparedness for and reduction of disasters worldwide, including agriculture and food security, health, nutrition, economic recovery and market systems, protection, shelter and settlements, hydrometeorology, geology, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). USAID/OFDA's efforts focus on reducing the impact of natural hazards on vulnerable populations by enhancing local and regional early warning systems; improving local disaster planning and response, including search and rescue capacity; strengthening conceptual and implementation models for improving food security; and building the capacity of international and local partners to reduce countries' vulnerability to disasters.
Each USAID/OFDA DRR program promotes at least one of the five priorities identified by the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA). The following information is a brief description of ongoing USAID/OFDA DRR programs active in FY 2010, grouped according to the HFA priority1 that the respective program promotes.