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Humanitarian Assistance in Review: Southern Africa | Fiscal Years (FYs) 2011 – 2020

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Complex emergencies and natural disasters present significant challenges to vulnerable populations throughout the Southern Africa region. Between FY 2011 and FY 2020, USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA) responded to a range of natural and man made crises through the former Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) and Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA). Examples include drought, floods, food insecurity, and pest infestations across the region; cyclones affecting Comoros, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe; a complex emergency in Mozambique; and an earthquake in Comoros; as well as the global coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

USAID provided nearly $1.2 billion to assist disaster-affected populations in Southern Africa between FY 2011 and FY 2020. Of the total, USAID/FFP contributed approximately $944 million in emergency food and nutrition assistance, including U.S. in-kind food aid, locally and regionally purchased food, cash transfers for food, food vouchers, and complementary services, while USAID/OFDA provided nearly $236 million to support agriculture; health; humanitarian coordination, information management, and assessments; livelihoods; logistics; nutrition; protection; shelter and settlements; and water, sanitation, and hygiene activities.

In the last decade, USAID responded to 54 disasters across nine countries in Southern Africa, with cyclones, drought, and floods constituting the most frequent emergencies. Additionally, in FY 2019, USAID deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to Mozambique to lead the U.S. Government’s response to the humanitarian impacts of tropical cyclones Idai and Kenneth, and activated a Washington, D.C.-based Response Management Team to further support coordination and cyclone response efforts.