Fighting Famine

Fighting Famine

Photo: AFP PHOTO /

Tens of millions of people are in need of humanitarian assistance as a result of man-made crises in South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen - all of which are driven by violent conflict - and Somalia, where ongoing conflict is compounding the effects of severe and prolonged drought. These crises are forcing people to flee within and beyond their country borders, disrupting agricultural production and livelihoods, and severing families from their social support systems. Ongoing violence - including deliberate attacks on civilians and relief workers - continues to prevent aid from reaching those most in need.

The United States is one of the largest donors of humanitarian assistance in all four crises. The assistance we provide includes: emergency food and nutrition assistance, safe drinking water, life-saving medical care, and shelter for those who have been displaced, both internally and as refugees, as well as protection for civilians. The United States is also supporting health, sanitation and hygiene services to help stop the spread of preventable disease - a leading cause of death during food crises.

Our assistance represents the best of America's generosity and goodwill, while improving our national security by strengthening relationships with nations and people around the world. We will continue to work with our international and local partners to provide the life-saving aid needed to avert famine and to support surrounding countries, mitigating the impact of these crises.

May 12, 2017

Populations across northeastern Nigeria continue to experience acute food insecurity, high acute malnutrition levels, and increased risks of excess mortality, according to the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). The onset of the May-to-October rainy season—which complicates road access—could potentially further limit humanitarian access and relief operations in some areas of the region. The UN and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in northeastern Nigeria are developing contingency plans for the rainy season and expanding storage capacity in Borno State to facilitate the delivery of food and other humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations.

May 9, 2017

Conflict in Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei, Upper Nile, and Western Bahr el Ghazal states generated additional internal displacement, as well as population movements into neighboring countries, during the month of April. Attacks on aid workers, which resulted in the deaths of four USAID partner employees, prompted humanitarian organizations to relocate staff from conflict-affected areas and temporarily suspend relief operations.

May 9, 2017

Vulnerable populations in Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia, and northern Kenya continue to face life-threatening acute food insecurity, following delayed and erratic seasonal rains across the Horn of Africa, according to the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). As of early May, April-to-June gu rains had begun in parts of Somalia’s semiautonomous regions of Puntland and Somaliland, while Lower Juba, Lower Shabelle, and coastal areas of Galgadud and Mudug regions had not yet received rains, according to the UN. In addition, central and eastern Ethiopia remained dry due to below-average February-to-June belg rainfall, and the delayed onset of March-to-May long rains had exacerbated dry conditions in agricultural and pastoral areas of Kenya, according to FEWS NET.

April 26, 2017

International donors participate in high-level pledging event for Yemen crisis on April 25. US Government agencies commit an additional $94 million in humanitarian funding for the Yemen response. UN officials warn parties to conflict against launching a military offensive in the vicinity of Al Hudaydah Port, noting humanitarian concerns.

March 31, 2017

March 2017 marks two years since the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia-led Coalition began airstrikes on Al Houthi and allied forces in Yemen. An estimated 17 million people in Yemen are experiencing acute levels of food insecurity—an increase of 20 percent since June 2016.