Emergency Programs

USAID is the world’s largest provider of international food assistance.  For more than 60 years, USAID has brought hope and nourishment to the hungry corners of the world.  During an emergency in which people face threat of imminent starvation, USAID provides food assistance in the form of food, cash transfers, and vouchers to save lives and reduce suffering.  USAID has two ways in which it delivers emergency food assistance.  To learn more about how USAID chooses to respond to food assistance needs, visit our Modality Decision Tool. To learn more about types of USAID emergency food assistance, visit Types of Emergency Food Assistance.

Title II

The Title II program, USAID’s primary mechanism for food assistance, provides in-kind commodities to those suffering from food insecurity.  Title II commodities are grown in the United States by U.S. farmers and sent overseas to feed vulnerable populations in the poorest corners of the world. The Agricultural Act of 2014 (the “Farm Bill”) provided important, modest changes to the Title II program, enabling use of Title II Section 202(e) funds to enhance programs. Learn more here, and read the related guidance here.

Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP)

Complementing USAID’s in-kind food aid, USAID is now among the largest cash providers of food assistance in the world.  Each year International Disaster Assistance funds are available to support local and regional procurement of food as well as cash transfers and vouchers to address food security needs in emergency contexts.  These types of food assistance are used when USAID’s in-kind food aid cannot arrive in time or other forms of assistance are more appropriate due to local market conditions.  The program reinforces market linkages in recipient and neighboring countries and supports private sector capacity to meet the needs of beneficiaries.

Food assistance often plays a key role in USAID's responses to crises around the globe, in many instances going hand in hand with non-food assistance such as shelter and water.  To learn more about the role of food assistance in USAID's emergency response, visit Working in Crises and Conflict.

Emergency Program Proposal Guidance: