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: September 22, 2017

August 4, 2017

The food security and nutrition situation in southeastern Ethiopia is deteriorating, with some households in parts of acutely drought-affected Somali Region experiencing an elevated risk of Catastrophe—IPC 5—levels of acute food insecurity, according to the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).4 Relief actors—including USAID/OFDA and USAID/FFP—are monitoring the evolving food security and nutrition situation and scaling up ongoing humanitarian interventions.

August 4, 2017

In addition to continued population displacement, ongoing insecurity and economic desperation have led to increasing violent incidents targeting humanitarian personnel and assets—limiting access to some populations in need and exacerbating existing vulnerabilities. Relief actors reported 100 humanitarian access incidents in South Sudan in June, representing the highest number of incidents recorded in a single month in 2017 to date, and a continuation of increased looting in July.

August 3, 2017

Today the United States announced more than $169 million in humanitarian assistance to support those in Ethiopia and Kenya who are experiencing the effects of prolonged severe drought. This additional funding, including nearly $137 million in Ethiopia and nearly $33 million in Kenya, brings the total U.S. humanitarian contribution in Ethiopia and Kenya to more than $458 million in Fiscal Year 2017.

July 31, 2017

As of July 26, health agencies had recorded more than 408,000 suspected cholera cases and 1,885 associated deaths in Yemen, according to the UN World Health Organization (WHO). UN agencies, in coordination with humanitarian partners, have scaled up cholera response efforts to address widespread health and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs throughout cholera-affected areas.

July 21, 2017

Armed attacks in Nigeria and Chad result in civilian casualties and hinder humanitarian access. USAID partners continue providing life-saving health, food, and WASH support across northeastern Nigeria, where more than 13,100 people have spontaneously returned from Cameroon since April. Flooding in Niger results in more than 20 deaths and affects nearly 19,500 people.

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