Protracted conflicts, drought, earthquakes, floods, and seasonal storms—compounded by limited government response capacity in some countries—present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in South and Central Asia (SCA). Between FY 2011 and FY 2020, USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA) provided humanitarian assistance through the former Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) and Office of U.S.
Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) in response to a range of disasters, including complex emergencies in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka; two cyclones in India; drought in Pakistan; earthquakes in Nepal and Tajikistan; floods and landslides in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; and the global coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
USAID provided approximately $2.5 billion to respond to disasters in the SCA region between FY 2011 and FY 2020.
USAID/BHA provided more than $1.8 billion for emergency food assistance and nutrition support in the form of in-kind food aid, locally and regionally purchased food, cash transfers, food vouchers, infant and young child nutrition, and livelihood activities. USAID/BHA support also included nearly $638 million for programs in agriculture; economic recovery and market systems; health; humanitarian coordination, information management, and assessments; logistics support; multi-purpose cash assistance; nutrition; protection; disaster risk reduction policy and practice; shelter and settlements; and water, sanitation, and hygiene, as well as search-and-rescue activities.
In the last decade, USAID responded to crises in nine countries in SCA, including to 49 declared disasters. USAID deployed humanitarian teams to the region, including a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) following a magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal in FY 2015. USAID also activated a Washington, D.C.-based Response Management Team to support coordination and response efforts for the Nepal earthquake. Additionally, beginning in FY 2017, USAID deployed staff through a Humanitarian Assistance Cell to respond to the influx of more than 700,000 Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh.