2017 has been marked by one humanitarian crisis or natural disaster after another.
“We’re seeing right now a time in history where the world’s on fire and there are immediate, pressing humanitarian needs that we see right before us,” said U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, Administrator Mark Green at a recent conference regarding U.S. humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
The United States is the world’s leading humanitarian donor. Still, this year, we have our work cut out for us, said Mr. Green.
Today, North America and the Caribbean nations are dealing with the aftermath of three deadly hurricanes, while Mexico is responding to two powerful earthquakes in less than two weeks.
Over the past month, USAID sent Disaster Assistance Response Teams to Mexico and countries across the Caribbean to coordinate U.S. international disaster response efforts.
USAID Administrator Green announced that the United States will increase its humanitarian aidto these four countriesby more than $575 million.
On the other side of the world, severe drought and armed conflict have caused food insecurity in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen, and all four countries face the credible threat of famine this year. Some twenty million people are at risk of severe hunger or starvation there. On September 26, USAID Administrator Green announced that the United States will increase its humanitarian aid to these four countries by more than $575 million, bringing the total to nearly $2.5 billion for these four countries alone.
And in South Asia, hundreds of thousands of the Rohingya Muslim people are fleeing violence in their native Burma. They are looking for refuge in Bangladesh, a country that is not equipped to handle such an enormous influx of refugees. The displaced Rohingya people in both countries, as well as the host country Bangladesh, are in desperate need of assistance. The United States recently announced that it will provide 32 million dollars in humanitarian relief for the Rohingya Muslims and their hosts.
“I want to make clear that America is and will remain the world’s leading humanitarian donor,” said USAID Administrator Green. “Whether it’s responding to an earthquake, drought, or conflict, America is committed to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with people in their hour of need. It is who we are as Americans.”