International Disaster Assistance

$4.4 billion*

Minimum Requirement for American Leadership

International Disaster Assistance (IDA) is one of the primary funding streams that the U.S. government uses to respond to humanitarian needs, which have reached levels not seen since World War II. IDA funds USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and Office of Food for Peace (FFP).

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Justification for Funding

  • The UN estimates that in 2018 humanitarian assistance will need to be provided to 135.7 million men, women and children. The UN also estimates that the number of forcibly-displaced people is the highest in recorded history: 65.6 million people, including 40.3 million internally displaced people, and trends indicate this number is likely to continue to grow.
  • Despite strong global response to address the threat of famine in 2017, FEWS NET reports that at least 76 million people will need emergency food assistance in 2018, in large part because of the impact of conflict in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • IDA has been used by Congress to ensure coordination across other humanitarian accounts to appropriately address changing contexts in humanitarian emergencies, including by using transfer authorities provided in past years by Congress for FFP Title II and Migration and Refugee Assistance.

Cost of Cuts Below $4.4 Billion

President and Congress Budget Comparison

       Congressional Budget   

       President's Budget Request (Base + OCO)

  • The President’s proposed cuts would leave approximately 14 million people without humanitarian assistance.
  • Proposed cuts to market-based emergency food assistance in IDA and in-kind food assistance from FFP Title II consistent would leave 20 million without lifesaving food assistance.
  • The President’s budget assumes the existence of carryover funding that simply does not exist. Emergency famine funding in FY17 has been spent. In fact, USAID has contributed more than $3.3 billion in humanitarian assistance annually since 2015 outside of famine contexts, as demand for humanitarian assistance far outstrips the funding available.


$4.4 billion

Opportunity to Catalyze American Leadership


Justification for Full Funding

135.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance worldwide. 

  • Due to armed conflicts, violence, drought, and natural disasters, the United Nations is predicting global humanitarian needs to increase by five percent in 2018 – a number estimated to be conservative by many non-governmental organizations.
  • This increase considers the continued and immediate threat of famine conditions in Northeast Nigeria, the Horn of Africa, South Sudan, and Yemen, as well as a deepening crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Last year, Congress responded to similarly dire global needs with roughly $1 billion in supplemental funding, which staved off famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen.
  • Emergency supplemental funds have been exhausted. Without additional resources, people affected by conflict, displaced, and facing severe food insecurity will not receive necessary life-saving assistance.

*Enacted FY17 Appropriation

For more information, please contact: Tom Buttry,

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