Fighting Famine

Fighting Famine

Photo: AFP PHOTO /

Tens of millions of people are in need of humanitarian assistance as a result of man-made crises in South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen - all of which are driven by violent conflict - and Somalia, where ongoing conflict is compounding the effects of severe and prolonged drought. These crises are forcing people to flee within and beyond their country borders, disrupting agricultural production and livelihoods, and severing families from their social support systems. Ongoing violence - including deliberate attacks on civilians and relief workers - continues to prevent aid from reaching those most in need.

The United States is one of the largest donors of humanitarian assistance in all four crises. The assistance we provide includes: emergency food and nutrition assistance, safe drinking water, life-saving medical care, and shelter for those who have been displaced, both internally and as refugees, as well as protection for civilians. The United States is also supporting health, sanitation and hygiene services to help stop the spread of preventable disease - a leading cause of death during food crises.

Our assistance represents the best of America's generosity and goodwill, while improving our national security by strengthening relationships with nations and people around the world. We will continue to work with our international and local partners to provide the life-saving aid needed to avert famine and to support surrounding countries, mitigating the impact of these crises.

Last updated: December 05, 2017

November 6, 2017

UN Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) Mark Lowcock traveled to Yemen from October 23–27 to meet with Republic of Yemen Government (RoYG) officials in the city of Aden and Al Houthi officials in the capital city of Sana’a. ERC Lowcock encouraged greater coordination of humanitarian activities and urged parties to the conflict to ameliorate Yemen’s challenging operational environment, particularly bureaucratic impediments and disruptions to humanitarian operations.

October 30, 2017

Armed actors continue to target civilian populations across the Lake Chad Basin region. Three late October attacks near Borno’s capital city of Maiduguri resulted in at least 13 civilian deaths and nearly 20 injuries, according to international media. In addition, the UN reports that a mid-September attack in Cameroon’s Far North Region displaced nearly 1,700 people within Mayo-Tsanaga Department.

October 18, 2017

On September 21, the U.S. Government (USG) announced more than $283.6 million in additional humanitarian funding for the South Sudan response. During FY 2017, the USG provided nearly $746 million in emergency assistance inside South Sudan, as well as approximately $246 million in life-saving assistance for South Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries.

October 17, 2017

As of September 30, health agencies had recorded nearly 772,000 suspected cholera cases and 2,132 related deaths since the outbreak resurged in late April, according to USAID/OFDA partner the UN World Health Organization (WHO). USG partners continue to distribute cholera prevention supplies, such as water purification tablets; establish additional cholera treatment centers (CTCs) and oral rehydration centers (ORCs); and provide safe drinking water to vulnerable populations.

October 16, 2017

In September, NOAA reported an increased likelihood that a La Niña climatic event could develop by late 2017. Historically, La Niña events are associated with below-average October-to-December deyr rains over the Horn of Africa, according to FEWS NET. Anticipated below-average seasonal rains in late 2017 would mark the fourth consecutive season of below-average rainfall in many areas of the region.

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