Humanitarian Assistance in Review, FY 2003 – 2012: Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia | FY 2003 – 2012

from US Agency for International Development
Published on 01 Nov 2012

Natural disasters, including drought, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires, as well as ongoing complex emergencies and limited government capacity in the region, present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia (EMCA). Between Fiscal Year (FY) 2003 and FY 2012, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided assistance in response to a range of disasters, including floods, wildfires, winter emergencies, and complex crises.

Between FY 2003 and FY 2012, USAID provided nearly $1.3 billion for emergency response programs in the EMCA region. USAID/OFDA assistance included approximately $689 million for agriculture and food security, health, livelihoods, nutrition, protection, shelter, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions, as well as support for humanitarian coordination and logistics and the provision of relief commodities. USAID/FFP assistance included more than $608 million in emergency food assistance.

In the last decade, USAID deployed eight Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) and multiple humanitarian assessment teams to the region. DARTs deployed to Iran and Morocco in FY 2004 in response to earthquakes and to Israel in FY 2011 in response to wildfires. DARTs also deployed to Iraq in FY 2003, Lebanon in FY 2006, Georgia in FY 2008, and Libya in FY 2011 in response to complex emergencies. In FY 2004, USAID deployed a regional DART to North and West Africa to respond to locust infestations. USAID also activated multiple Washington, D.C.,-based Response Management Teams to support DART coordination and response efforts.

To complement emergency assistance and mitigate the underlying causes of vulnerabilities, USAID/OFDA supports disaster risk reduction (DRR) programming in the EMCA region. USAID/OFDA DRR interventions include technical assistance and technology transfer to build capacity in communities and national agencies, as well as project-level activities such as seismic-resistant shelter construction. Recent USAID/OFDA DRR activities in FY 2012 include support for disaster preparedness and risk reduction in the Balkans, a regional snowmelt workshop for Europe, and strengthened regional DRR coordination in Central Asia.

Through emergency and development food assistance programs, USAID/FFP works to save lives and reduce food insecurity in times of crisis and situations of chronic food insecurity. USAID/FFP emergency food assistance includes both in-kind food aid and cash-based assistance in the form of local and regional procurement of food commodities, cash transfers, and food vouchers, where market conditions allow.