Countries in the Southern Africa region1 face cyclical drought, floods, and cyclones, as well as food insecurity. These disasters present significant challenges to vulnerable populations, who often lack access to basic services and adequate resources to cope with crises. Environmental degradation and limited government capacity compound existing vulnerabilities, exacerbating the impact of disasters in this region. In FY 2012, as in previous years, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) not only responded to urgent needs resulting from disasters, but also funded disaster risk reduction (DRR) programs to build the capacity of communities to prepare for and mitigate potential emergencies.
USAID/OFDA’s FY 2012 DRR activities in southern Africa focused on instituting early warning systems for floods and cyclones, building national and regional capacity for risk management, strengthening agricultural livelihoods to mitigate the effects of drought and food insecurity, and managing environmental health concerns to reduce the incidence of waterborne disease. During FY 2012, USAID/OFDA provided nearly $45.7 million for DRR projects throughout southern Africa.