The International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account provides critical humanitarian assistance to civilian populations in response to natural hazards, conflict and insecurity, and other sudden onset emergencies in their home or host countries.
What does it buy?
IDA supports humanitarian services, including emergency food, water, shelter, health care, and agricultural rehabilitation. Through the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, the U.S. helps countries prepare for, respond to, and recover from humanitarian crises. IDA also provides protection services to vulnerable populations in humanitarian settings and reduces underlying vulnerabilities through disaster risk reduction programming.
Why is it important?
Currently, 235 million people need humanitarian assistance worldwide, with children typically constituting at least half of beneficiaries. This translates to one in 33 people worldwide—an increase from one in 45 people in 2020.
Global displacement is at its highest level since the aftermath of World War II.
Why should Americans care?
Global displacement is at its highest level since the aftermath of World War II. This has resulted in significant human suffering and potential “lost generations” as millions of children miss out on education opportunities.
For the past decade, political conflicts and unrest have supplanted natural hazards as the largest driver of humanitarian need. In many instances, the U.S. is either a party to these conflicts or provides direct military support to parties to the conflict.
Increasingly severe and frequent weather events and other natural hazards due to climate change are exacerbating the chronic vulnerabilities that often drive humanitarian need.
The global humanitarian response to the COVID-19 pandemic prioritizes 63 countries, with 250 million people targeted to receive assistance.
Almost 24 million children, adolescents, and young people are at risk of not returning to school in 2020.
Growing fragility and intractable conflicts strain an already overstretched humanitarian system, while sustainable peace agreements have yet to take hold in conflicts such as those in Syria and Yemen.
Growing needs should be met with increased funding. The additional humanitarian investment would decrease human suffering related to conflicts and natural hazards, particularly for crucial sectors such as child protection, health, and education.
Significant increases in IDA funding could potentially allow for expanded use of multi-year programs to better and more effectively assist populations affected by protracted crises.
Funding levels may not accurately reflect those in the appropriations bills and/or reports due to rounding.