President Joe Biden announced today that the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), plans to provide $2 billion in life-saving assistance to support crisis-affected people in Africa, subject to the availability of funds. Humanitarian crises, from catastrophic drought to torrential flooding, continue to affect countries across the continent.
The combined effects of Putin’s war against Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, long-term complex emergencies, and other effects of climate change have pushed countries already in crisis further towards catastrophic food security outcomes. For example, the Horn of Africa is facing the most severe food security crisis in the world right now, which includes a risk of Famine. Nearly 21 million people across the region are in urgent need of food assistance as a result of the worst drought in more than 70 years – this figure could rise to as many as 26 million people by February 2023. Additionally, the West Africa region is experiencing its most severe food crisis in decades. More than 32 million people – a number which is estimated to jump to 45 million during the upcoming 2023 lean season – are currently in urgent need of food assistance across all of West Africa, including the Sahel.
President Biden also launched a new strategic partnership on food security between the United States and the African Union that will leverage the public and private sectors, along with multilateral development banks and international financial institutions to accelerate transformational investments in sustainable and resilient food systems to prevent food shocks before they happen.
USAID’s additional $2 billion in urgently needed humanitarian assistance – including emergency food, shelter, critical healthcare, water, sanitation and hygiene support, gender-based violence survivor services and other protection support, and critical nutrition services – will help the people of African nations hardest hit by disasters recover and withstand future crises, as well as mitigate the impacts of the historic levels of growing food insecurity and malnutrition.
The United States is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to Africa, leading the international community to support African countries with a range of bold new commitments that bolster life-saving humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable communities. In fiscal year 2022 alone, USAID has provided more than $6 billion in lifesaving, multi-sector humanitarian assistance to the people of Africa.