Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance

With several hundred experts in nine offices managing  $2 billion to $3 billion in programs annually, USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance brings together the wide-ranging technical expertise and global operational capabilities essential to crisis prevention, response, recovery, and transition efforts.

The Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance works around the world, focusing primarily on four objectives.

Prevention – In countries vulnerable to disasters and political instability, increased human rights abuses or violent conflict, we strengthen resiliency by helping states and communities prepare for and mitigate the impacts of disasters; consolidate new, effective democratic institutions; and address underlying grievances that cause instability and conflict.

Response – During emergencies, we provide life-saving humanitarian assistance and, in response to large-scale disasters, are able to deploy expert teams that draw upon the full spectrum of the U.S. Government’s capabilities.

Recovery – After a disaster, we promote a rapid and durable recovery by supporting livelihoods, markets, and the sustainable provision of basic services.

Transitions – In countries experiencing political crisis or emerging from authoritarianism or conflict, we 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.

Our work in these four areas supports economic, social, and political development, and helps protect development gains from being rolled back by disasters and conflict, thereby furthering United States national security broadly defined.

Our commitment to fostering democracy and human rights, and providing humanitarian assistance promotes and reflects core American values. In all programs, we aim to empower and protect the most vulnerable groups and marginalized populations.

We collaborate with other USAID bureaus and missions as part of broader USAID development efforts, and across the U.S. Government, especially with the Departments of State and Defense, to link defense, diplomacy and development. We work closely with our partners in nongovernmental organizations, international organizations, and research institutions to ensure programs are effective. We join with local actors in the field, inside and outside government, to help establish local ownership of assistance efforts.

The Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance has nine offices headquartered in Washington, D.C.

  • The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) provides and coordinates U.S. Government humanitarian assistance in response to international disasters to save lives, alleviate suffering, and reduce the social and economic impact of disasters, and also assists communities and governments in building capacity to prepare for disasters and to mitigate their consequences.
  • The Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) provides assistance targeting key transition, stabilization, and reconstruction needs in the areas of promoting reconciliation, fostering peace and democracy, providing short-term income generation, and jump-starting nascent government operations.
  • The Office of Food for Peace (FFP) provides emergency food assistance to those affected by conflict and natural disasters and provides development food assistance to address the underlying causes of hunger.
  • The Office of Civilian Response (OCR), as part of an interagency effort, trains and deploys direct-hire civilian experts with a wide array of critical skills to augment USAID and broader U.S. Government efforts in crisis-affected countries.
  • The Office of Civilian-Military Cooperation (CMC) serves as USAID’s primary point of contact with the Department of Defense, providing liaison to major military commands, training to USAID and U.S. military personnel, and planning and coordinating assistance in support of all programs of interest to both USAID and the military.
  • The Office of Program, Policy, and Management (PPM) provides oversight, guidance, coordination, and support to the Bureau on administrative, management, program, and policy issues, and manages the Complex Crises Fund through an interagency Monitoring and Review Committee.
  • The Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation (CMM) identifies and analyzes sources of conflict, supports early responses to address the causes and consequences of instability and violent conflict, and supports integration of conflict mitigation and management into USAID’s analysis, strategies, and programs.
  • The Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) through U.S. sponsoring organizations, supports self-sustaining private and non-profit universities, secondary schools, libraries, and medical centers that train cadres of students and professionals using American ideas and practices.

Last updated: June 16, 2014

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