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


Food insecurity and acute malnutrition, cyclical drought, disease outbreaks, protracted complex emergencies, and seasonal floods presented major challenges to vulnerable populations in the West Africa region over the past decade. Between FY 2011 and FY 2020, USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA) provided emergency relief—through the former Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) and Office of U.S.
Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA)—to address the impacts of a diverse range of crises and disasters, including drought and widespread food insecurity in the Sahel; multiple complex emergencies across the Central Sahel and Lake Chad Basin; disease outbreaks, such as Ebola virus disease (EVD) and coronavirus disease (COVID-19); and seasonal flooding throughout the region.

USAID provided nearly $4.8 billion to respond to disasters in the West Africa region between FY 2011 and FY 2020.
USAID/BHA assistance included more than $2.9 billion for emergency food assistance, including U.S.-sourced in-kind food; locally, regionally, and internationally purchased food; cash transfers for food; and food vouchers. USAID/BHA funding also supported food security activities promoting agriculture, community asset-building, livelihoods, and nutrition. Additionally, USAID/BHA provided approximately $1.8 billion 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; shelter and settlements; and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH).

During the last decade, USAID responded to crises in 16 countries in West Africa, including to 98 declared disasters.
From FY 2014 to FY 2016, USAID deployed regional Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) in response to the West Africa EVD Outbreak and activated a Washington, D.C.-based Response Management Team (RMT) to support coordination and response efforts. USAID also deployed a DART to Nigeria from FY 2017 to FY 2019 in response to the complex emergency and activated an RMT to support relief efforts across the Lake Chad Basin. In addition, between 2011 and 2016, USAID sent humanitarian assessment teams to Côte d’Ivoire and the Sahel in response to complex emergencies and food insecurity. In West Africa, USAID has focused on addressing immediate needs, such as basic relief items, food, health services, protection, and WASH assistance, while supporting recovery activities to build resilience against future crises—including conflict, drought, floods, poor agricultural yields, and other shocks.