2 FAM 060
INTERNATIONAL DISASTER and Humanitarian ASsistance
(Office of Origin: F)
2 FAM 061 GENERAL POLICY
In the event of foreign disaster or conflict, the United States may provide humanitarian assistance consistent with U.S foreign policy goals. Assistance may be provided if the disaster or conflict overwhelms the ability of the host nation to respond and if the host nation accepts such assistance. Assistance shall to the greatest extent possible, reach those most in need of relief. U.S. Government humanitarian assistance supports and encourages host country participation in disaster and supplements rather than replaces host country disaster relief resources. U.S. humanitarian assistance also supports and encourages broader international cooperation in foreign disaster response and assistance.
2 FAM 061.1 Foreign Disaster
A foreign disaster is an act of nature (such as a flood, drought, tsunami, hurricane, earthquake, volcanic eruption, or epidemic) or an act of man (such as violence, civil strife, or explosion) which is or threatens to be of sufficient severity and magnitude to overwhelm the ability of the host nation to respond. The severity and magnitude of a disaster is determined by taking into account the extent of damage compared to indigenous resources available for alleviating the suffering caused, and the extent of social or economic disruption. The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and the Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), the designated U.S. Government leads for coordination of foreign disaster response (see 2 FAM 066.2), can also provide technical specialists to support interested governments faced with emergency situations which do not warrant a formal disaster determination.
2 FAM 061.2 Humanitarian Assistance
The goal of humanitarian assistance is to save lives, alleviate suffering, and minimize the economic costs of conflict, disasters and displacement. Humanitarian assistance is provided on the basis of need according to principles of universality, impartiality and human dignity.
Humanitarian assistance includes:
(1) Developing operational disaster plans and rendering humanitarian assistance in coordination with other governments, their embassies, international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, and U.S. and foreign private assistance to victims of natural and manmade disasters;
(2) Disaster activities such as training foreign nationals in disaster management, vulnerability and risk analysis, public awareness, and damage and needs assessments; promoting bilateral, regional, and international information exchange; conducting disaster-related research and applying technology (e.g., satellite early warning, tracking, and monitoring systems); and
(3) Disaster assistance may be made available following sudden onset of a disaster (earthquake, cyclone, tsunami, etc.), or for emergency programs in slow-onset crises, like drought and conflict. Once a disaster is declared, the Chief of Mission may advise the foreign government of the intention of the USG to provide up to $50,000, in coordination with USAID/OFDA. Amounts in excess of the initial $50,000, and/or extension of the emergency phase beyond 60 days require prior approval of USAID/OFDA.
(4) Disaster assistance can be used immediately to alleviate the suffering of victims; it includes services and commodities as well as the rescue and evacuation of victims; assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons; the provision and transportation of food, non-food items (e.g., hygiene kits and blankets), medical supplies, bedding, temporary shelter, water and sanitation; the furnishing of medical equipment, medical and technical personnel; and making repairs to essential services.
2 FAM 061.3 Unassigned
2 FAM 061.4 Disaster Preparedness
a. USAID/OFDA maintains inventories of commonly required disaster relief commodities in three regional stockpiles around the world from which they may be deployed rapidly to a scene of disaster upon instruction from USAID/OFDA. Commodities are located in:
(1) Miami, Florida;
(2) Pisa, Italy;
(3) Dubai, UAE;
b. Disaster preparedness includes:
(1) Seminars and training for foreign disaster officials in disaster management;
(2) Direct technical assistance in national disaster planning for disaster-prone countries;
(3) Assistance to U.S. missions in the development of Annex J of the Post Emergency Action Plan; and
(4) Disaster-related technical assistance and technology transfer.
These services in all aspects of emergency management are available to all countries and can be provided on a cost-sharing or reimbursable basis.
2 FAM 061.5 Authorities
a. Department of State Delegation of Authority No. 293-2 of October 23, 2011, delegated to the Administrator, Agency for International Development, provides authority for funding and operational coordination of emergency disaster operations and disaster preparedness. This authority is derived from the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (22 U.S.C. 2292), (FAA) and from the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, as amended (Public Law 480, 83rd Congress; (7 U.S.C. 1704, 1721).
b. FAA Section 106: This section authorizes the President to furnish assistance to programs of reconstruction following natural and man-made disasters.
c. FAA Sections 491-493: These sections provide the basic authorities and guidelines for the Agency's involvement in disaster relief, rehabilitation, preparedness, prediction, and contingency planning. Section 493 authorizes the President to appoint a Special Coordinator for International Disaster Assistance; the President has designated the USAID Administrator.
d. Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962 (MRAA), as amended, provides the basic authority for U.S. international assistance to refugees, migrants, and certain other persons of concern. It directs support to international organizations by specifying that appropriations are authorized: for contributions to the activities of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees the International Organization for Migration, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and to other relevant international organizations, a function that PRM assumed when the Bureau came into existence in 1980. It also provides authority to fund bilateral assistance or grants to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) when determined that such assistance is in the foreign policy interests of the U.S. The MRAA also establishes a U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund (“ERMA”) to meet unexpected urgent refugee and migration needs. PRM manages this contingency account on behalf of the President.
2 FAM 062 CHIEF OF MISSION RESPONSIBILITIES
The Chief of Mission bears responsibility for the conduct of USG foreign disaster assistance within their jurisdiction. Operational implementation of this responsibility may be delegated to the USAID Mission Director. The Chief of Mission may make a disaster declaration if he/she determines that a disaster or conflict has overwhelmed the ability of the host nation to respond, that the host nation will accept assistance, and that it is in the interest of the U.S. Government to respond. (Such a disaster declaration, however, only makes a limited amount of U.S. Government funding immediately available and does not affect funding from other USG sources).
2 FAM 063 OBLIGATION OF FUNDS AND FISCAL REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
a. When making available the $50,000 initial relief assistance, USAID/OFDA/W will provide funding from the "International Disaster Assistance" account through a fund cite cable. The USAID mission in country, or regional mission if appropriate, will typically award funds through a grant, or other mechanism. In countries where there is no USAID mission, and the regional USAID mission is not able to support the award, USAID/OFDA/W will make funds available to the chief of the diplomatic mission for obligation to local or international organizations. This assistance should be coordinated with USAID/OFDA as outlined in the annual disaster guidance cable.
b. Should larger amounts of funds be necessary, recommendations should be made through the relevant OFDA regional office and appropriate action will be taken in Washington to establish funding levels. Typically, any additional funding is programmed by OFDA in Washington, but initial tranches of funding can be programmed by AID missions or diplomatic missions in certain situations.
c. Chiefs of missions shall not state the intention of the USG to provide assistance in excess of the $50,000 initial relief assistance until additional funding levels have been approved by USAID/W and missions notified of the financial accounting information.
d. Copies of the obligation documents issued by the diplomatic missions should be provided to the OFDA regional office and USAID/W.
2 FAM 064 REPORTING
a. Without delaying necessary and authorized emergency action, an immediate notification of a disaster, situation reports, follow-through actions, and a full summary report of each disaster relief operation is to be communicated to USAID/OFDA. Guidelines for these reports can be obtained from USAID/OFDA (See 2 FAM 065).
b. This guidance does not pertain to disasters primarily involving refugees. Requests for assistance and reporting in these circumstances must be directed to State/PRM.
2 FAM 065 International Disaster Assistance Policies
a. For detailed information and guidelines on U.S. Government foreign disaster policies, disaster preparedness activities, disaster operations, funding, reporting, surveys and assessments, procurement, stockpiling, health and technical assistance, see USAID's ADS 251. Copies of ADS 251 can be found on the USAID Web site.
b. Guidance on disasters involving primarily refugees can be found on the PRM Web site.
2 FAM 066 RESPONSIBILITIES AT WASHINGTON HEADQUARTERS
2 FAM 066.1 General Responsibilities
The Department of State provides foreign policy guidance to USAID in carrying out disaster relief activities. The Administrator of USAID determines the extent to which USAID funds and resources will be committed under this policy guidance to ensure the USG response is needs-based and adheres to humanitarian principles as outlined in the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD—the benchmark against which the USG and other international donors aim to improve the coherence, impact, and accountability of its humanitarian actions). State/PRM is responsible for evaluating and funding the U.S. Government response to disasters involving primarily refugees and for coordinating with international organizations and non-governmental organizations responding to refugee crises.
2 FAM 066.2 U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
a. The focal point of the U.S. Government disaster relief activity in Washington is the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (an independent office reporting directly to the Administrator of USAID), Foreign Disaster Coordination Center. A disaster duty officer is on-call 24-hours a day including weekends and holidays. The OFDA Director is authorized by the USAID Administrator to respond to U.S. mission requests for disaster assistance, to organize and coordinate the total U.S. Government disaster relief response, to procure supplies, services, and transportation, and to engage in disaster preparedness activities. USAID reimburses other Federal departments and agencies for supplies and costs associated with personnel provided at USAID's request.
b. USAID geographic bureaus work with OFDA in determining the nature and extent of disasters to determine suitable plans of action. They provide additional temporary professional and clerical staff when the magnitude of a disaster requires augmentation of OFDA staff. When the emergency and short-term rehabilitation phases of a disaster evolve into reconstruction, the responsibility for disaster reconstruction passes from OFDA to the appropriate geographic bureau of USAID.
c. The Office of Food for Peace (FFP) is responsible for all matters relating to Pub. L. 480 food commodities utilized in emergency relief. (See ADS 312.3.1). FFP keeps OFDA informed of related mission and USAID/W actions.
d. There are many other offices within USAID which provide important services, resources, or administrative assistance in the disaster program. These are delineated in ADS 251.3.2.
2 FAM 066.3 Department of State
a. USAID/OFDA receives foreign policy guidance from the Department of State through the appropriate regional bureau and office director. Other components of the Department often participate with USAID/OFDA in foreign disaster operations.
b. The Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) is concerned with disasters in foreign countries as they affect U.S. citizens. It provides information on the welfare of private U.S citizens residing abroad who are affected by disasters to concerned relatives in the United States. The Bureau assists in the transfer of emergency funds to U.S. citizens in disaster stricken areas and in arranging for the medical treatment and/or evacuation. In the case of death of a U.S. citizen abroad, the Bureau assists the next of kin in arranging for the disposition of the remains and settlement of the estate;
c. The Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO) provides political guidance to State and USAID regional bureaus and to USAID/OFDA on the United Nations and its specialized agencies or other international organizations when U.S. Government disaster assistance involves these organizations;
d. The Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) has responsibility for coordinating assistance to refugees who cross the border from one country to another and also provides assistance to other victims of conflict in coordination with USAID/OFDA. PRM is the U.S. Government's principal interlocutor with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinians in the Middle East. USAID/OFDA has primary responsibility for assisting people displaced within their own country as a result of natural or manmade disasters. A single disaster may involve both situations, and coordination between USAID/OFDA and State/PRM is essential to a balanced U.S. effort;
e. The State Operations Center (S/S-O) relays to USAID/OFDA or the USAID /OFDA Disaster Duty Officer communications received pertaining to foreign disasters and assists USAID/OFDA during evening hours and on weekends in the dispatch of immediate communications; and
f. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA):
(1) Coordinates the assessment, protection, and preservation of cultural heritage, including museums, archives, and archaeological resources, in natural or manmade disaster situations; and
(2) Coordinates with the relevant U.S. Embassy and geographic bureau, USAID, and the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) to ensure that U.S. Government actions address cultural heritage concerns in disaster and post-disaster situations in a timely fashion to mitigate risk and damage to irreplaceable cultural heritage.
2 FAM 066.4 Department of Defense (DOD)
Department of Defense Directive 5100.46, of July 6, 2012, authorizes DoD to respond to foreign disasters in support of USAID pursuant to E.O. 12163 and section 2292(b) of title 22, U.S.C. DoD support may be provided on a non-reimbursable basis using available Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster, and Civic Aid (OHDACA) funds, Presidential drawdown authority in accordance with section 506 of Public Law 87-195, or other available authorities. USAID/OFDA provides formal USAID validation of the appropriateness of DoD foreign disaster relief assistance via input into the initial request for DoD assistance and tactical level concurrence through the Mission Tasking Matrix (MiTaM) process. State provides validation of the foreign policy interests of a military response to a disaster.
DoD components may also provide reimbursable foreign disaster relief assistance when requested and funded by other USG departments and agencies. Requests for DoD support to disaster relief efforts are transmitted via an official request from the appropriate departmental or agency Executive Secretariat to the DoD Executive Secretary and/or through requests for reimbursable assistance (e.g., USAID Reimbursement Agreement found in ADS 306).
2 FAM 066.5 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
USAID/OFDA maintains an Interagency Agreement with the International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch at the HHS/Centers for Disease Control (CDC). At USAID's request, CDC or other divisions within HHS may provide medical, epidemiological, and nutrition personnel for disaster assessment and response, as well as any necessary goods.
2 FAM 066.6 Other Federal Departments
USAID/OFDA maintains pre-existing interagency agreements with other federal and local government entities. These agreements allow USAID/OFDA to call forward resources from these entities under USAID/OFDA authority, direction, and funding. Other Federal departments which are frequently involved in foreign disaster assistance include, but are not limited to, the Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Interior, and the Executive Office of the President. USAID is able to request the goods and services of these other Federal agencies on a reimbursable basis pursuant to section 632(b) of the FAA. Written interagency agreements must be in place prior to the provision of such goods and services (see ADS 306).
2 FAM 066.7 International Humanitarian Community
a. The term "international humanitarian community" includes other donor countries, international and regional organizations, such as the United Nations and its agencies, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the Pan American Health Organization along with NGOs that participate in disaster relief and preparedness activities.
b. The U.S. Government is a critical member and strong advocate of the international humanitarian community and existing international humanitarian architecture; the USG promotes a multilateral approach to disaster preparedness and relief.
c. The U.S. Government may, at its discretion, make contributions to international and regional organizations as well as NGOs that are capable and willing to undertake a comprehensive disaster assistance program, if acceptable to the cooperating country. These contributions may be in the form of relief commodities, food assistance, services, transportation, or cash grants, the extent of which is based on actual requirements and the contributions of other donor countries.
d. Such contributions do not necessarily preclude U.S. Government relief efforts for the same disaster on a bilateral basis, as long as such efforts are not duplicative and are coordinated through USAID/OFDA and State/PRM in matters dealing primarily with refugees.
2 FAM 067 THROUGH 069 UNASSIGNED