Protracted conflicts, drought, earthquakes, floods, seasonal storms, and severe winter weather, compounded by limited government response capacity in some countries, present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in South Asia. Between FY 2009 and FY 2018, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided humanitarian assistance in response to a diverse range of natural and man-made disasters in the region. Examples include cyclones in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan; earthquakes in India, Nepal, and Pakistan; floods and landslides throughout the region; displacement-related needs in Bangladesh; and complex emergencies in Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
USAID provided more than $2.6 billion to assist disaster-affected populations in South Asia between FY 2009 and FY 2018. USAID/FFP support included nearly $1.8 billion for emergency food assistance and nutrition support in the form of U.S. in-kind food aid, locally and regionally purchased food, cash transfers for food, food vouchers, and related activities. USAID/OFDA assistance included nearly $826.3 million for programs in agriculture and food security; economic recovery and market systems; health, humanitarian coordination and information management; logistics support and relief commodities; nutrition; protection; risk management policy and practice; shelter and settlements; search and rescue; and water, sanitation, and hygiene.
In the last decade, USAID responded to 54 disasters in South Asia and deployed humanitarian teams to the region as needed, including four Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs). Recent DARTs in South Asia responded to a magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal in FY 2015 and emergencies in Pakistan, including an earthquake and conflict and related displacement in FY 2009 and flooding in FY 2010. USAID also deployed staff to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh in FY 2018. In addition, USAID activated multiple Washington, D.C.-based Response Management Teams to support coordination and response efforts.