USAID launches guidance, policy for Building Resilience to Recurrent Crisis


United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a policy and guidance program  on Building Resilience to Recurrent Crisis. This first ever guidance and policy, which is due to strengthen the Strategy of the Obama Administration towards Sub-Saharan Africa,  will support the US government’s commitment to promote resilience-building programs while continuing to lead the World in response to humanitarian crises. 
Ninety billion USD was spent by international donors in nine countries over the past decade, according to Nancy Lindborg, Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) at USAID. This accounts for almost 50 percent of all humanitarian assistance during the same period. “The same level of humanitarian need is projected to continue while this need is expected to increase in some areas and communities, leaving them exposed to ongoing cycles of crises they cannot escape from and undermining development gains,” she told journalists in a teleconference given on the theme of Building Resilience on Tuesday, December 11, 2012.   One of the real catalysts for this international momentum on resilience was the drought experienced in 2011 in the Horn of Africa region, where about 14 million people in the dry lands, primarily in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya experienced severe food shortages. In response to that drought, USAID put up 1.2 billion USD for humanitarian assistance to meet the urgent needs of those countries expected to affect 4.6 million. It was nearly half a million USD that the USAID provided j in 2012 just for humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia.
The USAID is looking at approaches that enable it to use things like a crisis modifier, so that a development program will not lose its focus when a crisis occurs but be able to flexibly help in immediately addressing the situation and will be included into the long term approach, so that the development gains it is seeking to accomplish won’t be undermined. 
“One of the commitments we made for this resilience strategy is to look at how to integrate humanitarian and development programs. We are doing this to insure that those significant humanitarian responses   can add up to our longer term response,” she said.
One of the most important things is that Ethiopia had programs [and still has those programs] that had been put into place in advance of the drought, like the productive food security network, which shows that with that kind of advance preparation and effort, it is possible to prevent people from falling into an extreme crisis situation, even when the worst drought in 60 years hits. “So looking at things, like the food security network for the most vulnerable will aid small farmers become more productive so that, when drought hits, they are not overwhelmed by shock and don’t lose development gains,” she said. “That is really its  focus.”
In order to accomplish this, USAID partnered with international development bodies. Together with East Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the European Union and over 51 other international development partners, USAID is leading an international effort to build resilience in the Horn of Africa. The Global Alliance, launched in April 2012, is supporting the completion of technically rigorous Country Program Frameworks that will enable donors to closely align programs and funding with plans developed and owned by governments of drought‐affected areas.  
USAID has also teamed up with the EU to identify and advance resilience‐building solutions. In addition, the EU will soon release a roadmap to better coordinate humanitarian and development efforts in the Sahel region.