The East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region comprises 32 countries, with varying climates, levels of development and capacity, and vulnerabilities to hazards. The region experiences seasonal periods of increased hydrometeorological activity through cyclones, typhoons, and monsoon rains, which can result in significant damage and increase the risk of floods and landslides. Many EAP countries situated along the Pacific Ring of Fire experience seismic risks from earthquakes and associated tsunamis, as well as volcanic activity that occasionally can prompt wide-scale evacuations. As in previous years, in FY 2012, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) responded to these disasters and funded disaster risk reduction (DRR) programs to build the capacity of communities to prepare for and respond to emergencies.
Following the creation of EAP as a separate and distinct USAID/OFDA region in FY 2009, USAID/OFDA has focused DRR activities in the region on strategic, context-specific programs designed to meet particular risk reduction needs in each country, with capacity building as a consistent theme throughout all programs. In FY 2012, USAID/OFDA continued scaling up implementation of this strategic approach through a number of new initiatives, while maintaining several regional programs that complement country-specific activities and align with the overall goal to build region-wide capacity. During FY 2012, USAID/OFDA provided more than $23 million for DRR projects throughout EAP, including programs that integrate DRR with disaster response.