In 2013, droughts, floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters affected nearly 94 million people. Today, nearly 53 million people worldwide are in need of emergency food aid. And authoritarian leaders still govern nearly 50 countries, while the same number of countries are affected by conflict or potential instability.
Poverty and conflict are inextricably linked to authoritarianism and poor governance, with the consequences for citizens only worsening during times of crisis or disasters.
In the fall of 2013, Typhoon Haiyan--one of the strongest stroms on record--slammed into the Philippines. More than 16 million people were affected by the storm, which washed away homes, destroyed livelihoods, and cut off entire communities. Just as we have in the Philippines, we remain committed to responding quickly and effectively to crises, even as we work to help prevent them in the first place.
With a focus on crisis prevention, response, recovery and transition, we are working to:
- Strengthen resilience by helping states and communities prepare for and mitigate the impacts of disasters to help people withstand crises rather than have to seek emergency assistance;
- Provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to save lives and alleviate suffering;
- Provide emergency food assistance while also sowing the seeds for recovery and resilience;
- Accelerate a rapid and durable recovery by supporting livelihoods, markets and the sustainable provision of basic services;
- Address underlying grievances that cause instability and conflict to wind down tensions before they ignite;
- Promote peaceful political transitions by strengthening civil society and respect for human rights, facilitating reconciliation, supporting effective democratic governance and fostering the resumption of basic economic activity; and
- Invest in the protection and empowerment of women and girls in countries affected by crisis and conflict to improve prospects for peace and security.
Providing humanitarian assistance in times of need is the fundamental reflection of our core American values.
Over the last year, we have:
- Provided emergency assistance to tens of millions of people in 40 countries in response to 52 disasters.
- Provided food assistance in the form of food, value transfers and vouchers to more than 53 million people in 47 countries.
- Helped prevent conflict and mitigate the impact of unanticipated complex crises with targeted programs in five countries.
Last updated: February 26, 2014