International Disaster Assistance

International Disaster Assistance At A Glance

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The International Disaster Assistance account provides funding to mitigate effects of natural or manmade disasters in foreign countries.

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International Disaster Assistance (IDA) funding is provided to mitigate effects of natural or manmade disasters in foreign countries. The account is now often referred to as the International Disaster and Famine Assistance (IDFA) account since it has been authorized to include famine aid in the mid-2000s. IDA resources seek to save lives, reduce suffering and mitigate and prepare for natural and complex emergencies overseas by providing food assistance, disaster relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction assistance. Part I, Chapter 9 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 authorizes such relief. USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the Office of Food for Peace (FFP) typically administer these funds, which is authorized and annually appropriated by Congress. The USAID Administrator must coordinate with relevant agency officials and U.S. ambassadors to coordinate and implement IDA programming, and the IFDA must establish objectives prior to delivering such aid. Per the authorizing language, humanitarian concern must be the overriding principle in developing and managing disaster assistance programs. Implementers must make efforts to ensure that timely and appropriate assistance is efficiently delivered to the neediest victims. The United States remains one of the world’s primary contributors to humanitarian has a number of mechanisms to responds to such crises. 


Authorization: Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 Part I, Chapter 9 (Section 491)

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