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 18, 2017

April 26, 2017

International donors participate in high-level pledging event for Yemen crisis on April 25. US Government agencies commit an additional $94 million in humanitarian funding for the Yemen response. UN officials warn parties to conflict against launching a military offensive in the vicinity of Al Hudaydah Port, noting humanitarian concerns.

March 31, 2017

March 2017 marks two years since the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia-led Coalition began airstrikes on Al Houthi and allied forces in Yemen. An estimated 17 million people in Yemen are experiencing acute levels of food insecurity—an increase of 20 percent since June 2016.

Program participants stand in line to receive a cash transfer for food outside a training facility in Juba, South Sudan

For one week each month, Clementina Peter Loku, a 56-year-old widow and resident of South Sudan’s capital city of Juba, walks daily to a local training center to take classes on practical life skills—including nutrition, hygiene promotion, home gardening, entrepreneurship and income generation strategies. In exchange, she receives a monthly cash transfer of approximately $45 that allows her to feed her family.

Food for Peace What is a Famine Infographic

Somali men shake hands at a rehabilitated livestock market in Luuq.

Somalia is one of the lowest performing countries in the world in terms of economic growth, gender equality and human development. The government is still rebuilding after its collapse 25 years ago and struggles to provide even basic health and education services. Only five years ago, parts of Somalia were devastated by a famine.

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