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USAID: From The American People Disaster Assistance Technical staff review audit findings related to possible corruption charges in Paraguay. As members of a Forensic Audit Unit in the Controller General's Office, they have been key in more effectively addressing public corruption - Click to read this story
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Feature Publications

   Latest: USG responds to Tropical Storms

Tropical Storms Fay, Gustav, and Hanna have directly affected thousands of individuals in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica. For more information, please see the country pages.


   OFDA Response to the Global Food Crisis

On July 2, the Director of USAID/OFDA met with InterAction to discuss the global food crisis and to solicit input from NGO partners in order to better define the role that humanitarian organizations can play in addressing the impact of rising food costs. For more information, please click here.



Disaster Assistance Across the Globe Disaster Assistance Across the Globe

  Our Mandate

The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is the office within USAID responsible for facilitating and coordinating U.S. Government emergency assistance overseas. As part of USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA), OFDA provides humanitarian assistance to save lives, alleviate human suffering, and reduce the social and economic impact of humanitarian emergencies worldwide.

  Our Work

OFDA responds to all types of natural disasters, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, cyclones, floods, droughts, fires, pest infestations, and disease outbreaks. OFDA also provides assistance when lives or livelihoods are threatened by catastrophes such as civil conflict, acts of terrorism, or industrial accidents. In addition to emergency assistance, OFDA funds mitigation activities to reduce the impact of recurrent natural hazards and provides training to build local capacity for disaster management and response.

Message from the Director: OFDA Ensures Humanitarian Access to Populations in Need

What can OFDA do when its efforts to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to disaster victims are blocked by government authorities in the afflicted country?  How do we respond when food, plastic sheeting, blankets, medicines, and other essential relief commodities are blocked from timely distribution to people who desperately need help?

Those questions of “humanitarian access” have surged to the forefront yet again in recent months.  In the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis in May, which killed an estimated 85,000 or more people, authorities in Burma impeded international assistance to the disaster zone for several critical weeks.  In Zimbabwe, authorities in June ordered the suspension of humanitarian operations by non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  In Sudan, authorities in May slowed relief operations by temporarily closing all airports in Darfur to humanitarian traffic.  In Ethiopia, government officials are considering new rules that might seriously restrict the work of humanitarian agencies. 

Amid these troubling developments, the good news is that emergency relief from OFDA usually arrives rapidly and efficiently to help distressed populations in the vast majority of disasters.  In the past five years alone, USAID has responded to 355 declared disasters in all regions of the world.

Click here to read the full message from the director.


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Thu, 04 Sep 2008 14:22:35 -0500