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Humanitarian Assistance in Review: Southern Africa | Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 – 2017


Cyclical drought, food insecurity, cyclones, floods, disease outbreaks, and complex emergencies present significant challenges to vulnerable populations throughout the Southern Africa region. Between FY 2008 and FY 2017, 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 range of natural and man-made disasters. Regional emergencies include droughts, floods, and food insecurity; cyclones in Madagascar and Mozambique; complex emergencies in Comoros, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe; locust outbreaks in Madagascar; disease outbreaks in Zimbabwe; refugee returns in Angola; and earthquakes in Comoros and Malawi.

Between FY 2008 and FY 2017, USAID provided more than $1 billion to assist disaster-affected populations in Southern Africa. Of the total, USAID/FFP contributed more than $860 million for emergency food assistance, including U.S.-purchased food, locally and regionally purchased food, cash transfers for food, food vouchers, and related activities, while USAID/OFDA provided nearly $195 million for agriculture, health, humanitarian coordination and information management, livelihoods, logistics, nutrition, protection, shelter and settlements, and water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance.

In the last decade, USAID responded to 60 disasters in Southern Africa, with flooding and drought the most frequent emergencies. Additionally, USAID deployed humanitarian teams to the region, including a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to Zimbabwe in FY 2009 to respond to a cholera outbreak that generated significant humanitarian needs. USAID also activated a Washington, D.C.-based Response Management Team to support coordination and response efforts in Zimbabwe.