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: January 19, 2018

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.

October 13, 2017

Ongoing conflict could hinder staple crop harvests in Cameroon, despite forecasts of favorable agroclimatic conditions, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). To respond to food insecurity in Cameroon’s Far North Region, USAID/FFP recently contributed an additional $5 million to the UN World Food Program (WFP), allowing the provision of full food rations to refugees in the region.

September 26, 2017

On September 21, USAID Administrator Mark Green announced approximately $575 million in new humanitarian funding to support emergency response activities in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen—the four conflict-affected countries facing severe food insecurity and malnutrition crises—as well as neighboring countries hosting refugees fleeing those crises.

September 25, 2017

Post-gu seasonal assessments indicate that while Famine—IPC 5—levels of acute food insecurity have been averted in Somalia, the risk of Famine persists through December for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and other vulnerable populations in the worst-affected areas of Somalia.4 In addition, an estimated 3.1 million people are expected to face Crisis—IPC 3—or Emergency—IPC 4—levels of acute food insecurity through December, with an estimated 6.2 million people likely to require humanitarian assistance, according to the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) and Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit–Somalia (FSNAU).

September 25, 2017

The United States is deeply concerned about the risk of famine in northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. We are the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance for these countries, providing lifesaving aid to avert famine and help people in need. U.S. assistance includes emergency food, nutrition, water, shelter, healthcare, sanitation, hygiene services and protection. The United States also provides humanitarian assistance to refugees from these four countries. On September 21, on the margins of the 72nd United National General Assembly, USAID Administrator Mark Green announced more than $575 million in additional U.S. humanitarian assistance for the four countries at risk of famine.