Emergencies resulting from years of conflict and natural disasters—including drought, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires—present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe (MENAE). Between FY 2011 and FY 2020, USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA) provided humanitarian assistance in response to a range of natural and complex emergencies—as well as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic—in the region through the former Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) and Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA). Examples include protracted complex emergencies in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen; a series of explosions in Lebanon; earthquakes in Albania and Turkey; floods in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Tunisia, and Ukraine; and fires in Canada, Israel, Montenegro, and Portugal.
USAID/BHA and its legacy offices provided nearly $11.1 billion to respond to disasters in the MENAE region between FY 2011 and FY 2020. USAID/BHA assistance included more than $6.5 billion for emergency food assistance and nutrition support in the form of U.S. in-kind food aid; local, regional, and international procured food; cash transfers; vouchers; and related activities such as nutrition messaging and community asset building. USAID/BHA support also included more than $4.5 billion for agriculture, health, livelihoods, nutrition, protection, shelter and settlements, and water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions, as well as support for humanitarian coordination, information management, assessments, and logistics support and relief commodities.
In the last decade, USAID responded to crises in 24 countries in MENAE, including to 70 declared disasters. USAID frequently deployed humanitarian teams to the region, including five Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs). USAID deployed DARTs to Israel to respond to wildfires in FY 2011; to Libya to respond to the complex emergency in FY 2011; to Jordan and Turkey to respond to the complex emergency in Syria in FY 2013; to Iraq in FY 2014 due to large-scale displacement; and to Lebanon in FY 2020 following explosions in the capital city of Beirut. USAID also activated multiple Washington, D.C.-based Response Management Teams to support coordination and response efforts.