More than 500,000 people have been displaced and over 100 killed after Cyclone Aila hit Bangladesh and eastern India on Monday, May 25, 2009. CARE/Peter Caton Image
The Department of State and USAID are the lead U.S. agencies that respond to complex humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters overseas. The United States commitment to humanitarian response demonstrates America’s compassion for victims of natural disasters, armed conflict, forced migration, persecution, human rights violations, widespread health and food insecurity, and other threats. It requires urgent responses to emergencies, concerted efforts to address hunger and protracted crises, and planning to build the necessary capacity to prevent and mitigate the effects of conflict and disasters.
The U.S. Government’s emergency response to population displacement and distress caused by natural and human-made disasters is tightly linked to all other foreign assistance goals, including the protection of civilian populations, programs to strengthen support for human rights, provision of health and basic education, and support for livelihoods of beneficiaries. The United States provides substantial resources and guidance through international and nongovernmental organizations for worldwide humanitarian programs, with the objective of saving lives and minimizing suffering in the midst of crises, increasing access to protection, promoting shared responsibility, and coordinating funding and implementation strategies. U.S. strategic priority areas in this goal are providing protection, assistance, and solutions; preventing and mitigating disasters; and promoting orderly and humane means for migration management.
Of the eight indicators within this Strategic Goal, five met or exceeded targets and two were below target. A rating is not available for one new indicator. The Department of State and USAID allocated $4.95 billion toward this Strategic Goal in FY 2009, which is 10% of the total State-USAID budget supporting all strategic goals. A more detailed discussion of the priorities under this Strategic Goal and U.S. Government performance for two illustrative indicators is provided in the following section.