Strategic Goal 5 - Selected Strategic Priorities and Analyses

Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services
February 15, 2013

PROTECTION, ASSISTANCE, AND SOLUTIONS: Protect vulnerable populations (e.g. refugees, internally displaced persons, and others affected by natural disasters and human-made crises) from physical harm, persecution, exploitation, abuse, malnutrition, disease, and other threats by providing disaster relief, food aid, and humanitarian assistance.

Analysis - Gender Protection: Combating gender-based violence (GBV) remains a United States priority. Available evidence suggests that the stress and disruption of daily life during complex humanitarian emergencies may lead to a rise in GBV. Efforts to prevent and combat GBV are integrated into multi-sectoral programs in order to maximize their effectiveness and increase protection generally. Combating GBV increases protection for women, children, and others at risk during complex humanitarian emergencies by preventing or responding to incidents of rape, domestic violence, forced marriage, sexual exploitation and abuse, and other forms of GBV. To support these efforts, community awareness, psychosocial counseling, health services and legal aid for survivors are mainstreamed into humanitarian programs.

Since 2000, the State Department's Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) has taken a leading role in raising and addressing the special protection needs of women and children in any humanitarian response by engaging with international and non-governmental organization partners to develop policies that better address the unique needs of women and children in conflict situations. In FY 2012, 45 percent of State funded NGO or other International Organization funded projects included activities to prevent and respond to GBV. Since 2000, PRM has provided over $60 million in targeted GBV programming.

Analysis - Disaster Relief: USAID provides rapid response to meet the basic needs of populations affected by life-threatening disasters, both natural and complex. In FY 2012, USAID obligated $1.6 billion for humanitarian assistance worldwide. USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), as the U.S. Government's lead in international disaster response, reached nearly 50 million beneficiaries affected by 60 disasters in 53 countries during FY 2012 and provided targeted assistance to almost 30 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in North, West, Central, and Southern Africa and the Horn of Africa, Central, South, and Southeast Asia, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Major components of OFDA's humanitarian assistance activities include food, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and public health.

Analysis - Disaster Readiness: Each year, USAID provides humanitarian assistance in the wake of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and volcanoes. To minimize the risks of these and future disasters, USAID funds numerous disaster preparedness and mitigation programs. By making these strategic investments, USAID is saving lives, alleviating suffering, and reducing the economic impact of disasters by organizing and preparing communities before they are in jeopardy. By empowering individuals at the host government, community, and local levels to identify, prevent, mitigate, and respond to future crises, USAID continues to work toward advancing self-sufficiency in disaster management. OFDA works closely with vulnerable communities, national and local governments, international and regional organizations, universities, and non-governmental organizations to build Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) capacity, and has been making significant progress in building local resilience to disasters. Within the past five years, 17 percent of local Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance partners implemented risk reducing practices to improve their country's preparedness and response to natural disasters, a mark well above the seven percent target and more than triple the FY 2011 result.