More than 50 Years of Humanitarian Assistance

Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. Saving Lives, Changing Lives. USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) leads and coordinates U.S. humanitarian efforts overseas. On average, OFDA responds to 65 crisises in 50 countries - helping the most vulnerable people prepare for and survive the world's worst disasters


Since 1964, USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) has responded to more than 2,500 disasters in over 80% of the world. As the lead U.S. government coordinator of international disaster assistance, OFDA has responded to many types of disasters, including earthquakes, droughts, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, civil unrest, and even a nuclear meltdown.

Photo of LA county search and rescue in Nepal. Saving Lives: When the worst earthquake in 8 years hit Nepal, OFDA worked to rescue those  trapped in the rubble and provided emergency shelter materials, safe drinking water, and critical relief supplies to those in need.

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Responding to Disasters

With more than 420 staff worldwide, located in Washington, D.C. and in 6 regional and more than 20 field offices, OFDA draws on a team of humanitarian professionals, policy advisors, and technical experts--including logisticians, hydrometeorological advisors, and nutritionists--to identify the most urgent humanitarian needs.

USAID's humanitarian work includes efforts to save lives by delivering shelter, safe drinking water, improved sanitation, critical relief supplies, and emergency medical care to people and places most in need. It also includes our work to change lives and build resilience by helping vulnerable communities prepare for disasters before they strike. Click on the highlighted countries below to learn more about our work saving and changing lives.

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Preparing for Disasters

Natural disasters affect hundreds of millions of people around the globe every year. In addition to responding to these disasters, OFDA is committed to helping vulnerable communities prepare for them before they strike. Since 1989, USAID has supported disaster risk reduction efforts in 130 countries.

With each basket of mud, Rahim Begum and her 7-year old son make their home more resistant to cyclones and flooding. Through OFDA programs, Rahim and other Bangladeshis are learning to be better prepared for disasters



To learn more about OFDA's disaster response efforts, visit our website and follow us on social media.