United States announces $639 million humanitarian assistance to Africa  

The United States over the weekend announced nearly $639 million in additional humanitarian assistance to the millions of people affected by food insecurity and violence in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen.

This additional funding brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance to over $1.8 billion for these four crises since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2017, according to the press statement from the United States Department of State.

With this new assistance, the United States is providing additional emergency food and nutrition assistance, life-saving medical care, improved sanitation, emergency shelter, and protection for those who have been affected by conflict, including both those displaced internally and as refugees.  The statement noted that the United States is also providing safe drinking water and supporting hygiene and health programs to treat and prevent disease outbreaks for all four crises, including in Yemen, which is experiencing the world’s largest outbreak of cholera.

Tens of millions of people are in need of humanitarian assistance as a result of the man-made crises in South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen-all of which are driven by violent conflict-and Somalia, where ongoing conflict is exacerbating the effects of severe and prolonged drought.

While a swift influx of aid helped to alleviate famine in some areas of South Sudan, and has so far prevented famine in Yemen and Somalia, the overall food-security situation is worsening, and life-threatening hunger continues to spread in both scope and scale.

Ongoing violence in all four countries, including deliberate attacks on civilians and relief workers, continues to prevent aid from reaching some of the people most in need, and to force still more displacement.  We commend the generosity of communities and neighboring countries that receive those fleeing these crises.

The United States is one of the largest donors of humanitarian assistance in all four crises and the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance in the world.

“The aid we provide represents the best of America’s generosity and goodwill. We will continue to work with our international and local partners to provide the life-saving aid needed to avert famine, and to support communities impacted by these crises. We welcome the contributions already provided by other international donors, but as needs continue to rise, we urge other donors to increase their level of humanitarian support to help save more lives,” the statement noted.