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USAID The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) Ginny Nagy, JD, MPH.

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Presentation on theme: "USAID The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) Ginny Nagy, JD, MPH."— Presentation transcript:

1 USAID The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) Ginny Nagy, JD, MPH

2 OFDA Background OFDA is the office within USAID responsible for providing non-food humanitarian assistance in response to international crises and disasters. The USAID Administrator is designated as the President's Special Coordinator for International Disaster Assistance and USAID/OFDA assists in the coordination of this assistance.

3 OFDA Mandate OFDA is the office within USAID responsible for facilitating and coordinating U.S. Government emergency assistance overseas. As part of USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA), OFDA provides humanitarian assistance to: – Save lives; – alleviate human suffering; and – reduce the social and economic impact of humanitarian emergencies worldwide.

4 When OFDA Responds US Government (through OFDA) may respond if: – Beyond the ability of the affected country to respond – Affected country requests (or will accept) outside assistance – In the interest of the US Government

5 OFDA Response Options Deploy Regional Advisors Deploy Assessment Teams Fund NGO/IO/UN directly or provide funds through Embassy/USAID Mission Provide OFDA disaster relief commodities Deploy a Disaster Assistance Response /Ground Operations Teams (DART/GO)

6 OFDA Scope of Work OFDA responds to all types of natural disasters, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, cyclones, floods, droughts, fires, pest infestations, and disease outbreaks. OFDA also provides assistance when lives or livelihoods are threatened by catastrophes such as civil conflict, acts of terrorism, or industrial accidents. In addition to emergency assistance, OFDA funds mitigation activities to reduce the impact of recurrent natural hazards and provides training to build local capacity for disaster management and response.

7 Divisions of OFDA: Disaster Response and Mitigation The Disaster Response and Mitigation (DRM) division is responsible for coordinating with other organizations for the provision of relief supplies and humanitarian assistance. DRM also devises, coordinates, and implements program strategies for the application of science and technology to prevention, mitigation, and national and international preparedness initiatives for a variety of natural and man-made disaster situations.

8 Divisions of OFDA: Operations Division The Operations Division (OPS) develops and manages logistical, operational, and technical support for disaster responses. OPS maintains readiness to respond to emergencies through several mechanisms, including managing several Search and Rescue (SAR) Teams, the Ground Operations Team (GO Team), field Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DART), and the Washington Response Management teams (RMT).

9 Divisions of OFDA: Program Support The Program Support (PS) division provides programmatic and administrative support, including budget/financial services, procurement planning, contract/grant administration, general administrative support, and communication support for both USAID/OFDA Washington, D.C. and its field offices.

10 Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DART) A DART provides specialists, trained in variety of disaster relief skills, that assist US embassies and USAID missions in managing the US Government response to disasters.

11 DART Structure The structure of a DART is dependent on the size, complexity, type, and location of the disaster and the needs of the USAID/embassy and affected country. The number of individuals assigned to a DART is determined by how many people are required to perform the necessary activities to meet the strategy and objectives. A DART is composed of five functional areas: management, operations, planning, logistics, and administration.

12 DART: On the Ground Prior to departure, the team leader attempts to contact the USAID/embassy (if present in the affected country) to discuss the situation; review the DART’s structure, size, objectives, and capabilities; and identify the areas of support needed by the DART horn USAID/embassy.

13 DART: On the Ground Upon arrival in an affected country, the team leader reports to the senior US official or to appropriate affected country officials, to discuss the DART’s objectives and capabilities and to receive additional instructions and/or authority. While in the affected country, the team leader advises and may receive periodic instructions from the USAID/embassy. Those instructions are followed to the extent that they do not conflict with OFDA policies, authorities, and procedures.

14 DART: On the Ground The team leader maintains a direct line of communications with OFDA Washington throughout the operation. USAID/embassy and OFDA Washington determine the duration of a DART operation after reviewing the disaster situation and the progress in meeting its objectives. The DART is designed as a highly flexible and mobile organization capable of adjusting size and mission as may be required to satisfy changing disaster situation needs.

15 DART Activities The activities of a DART vary, depending on the type, size, and complexity of disaster to which it deploys. During either type of disaster response, DARTs coordinate their activities with the affected country; Private Voluntary Organizations, Non- governmental organizations, and International Organizations; the United Nations; other assisting countries; and US military assets deployed to the disaster.

16 DART: Rapid Onset Disasters During rapid-onset disasters, the focus of a DART is to: 1. Coordinate the assessment of needs. 2. Recommend US Government response actions. 3. Manage US Government on- site relief activities such as search and rescue and air operations. 4. Manage the receipt, distribution, and monitoring of US Government-provided relief supplies.

17 DART: Slow Onset Emergencies During long-term, complex disasters, the focus of a DART is to: 1.Gather information on the general disaster situation. 2.Monitor the effectiveness of current US Government- funded relief activities. 3.Review proposals of relief activities for possible future funding. 4.Recommend follow-on strategies and actions to OFDA Washington.

18 DRC: Munitions Explosion On March 4, a fire sparked a series of explosions at a munitions depot in the Mpila neighborhood of Brazzaville, the capital city of the Republic of Congo (RoC). The explosions and resulting shockwaves destroyed nearly all buildings in Mpila and severely damaged the surrounding neighborhoods of Talangai and Ouenze, as well as several other areas in downtown Brazzaville. As of March 6, the incident had resulted in at least 180 deaths and more than 1,300 injuries, according to the Government of the Republic of Congo (GoRC). The GoRC established three emergency health sites in Brazzaville and coordinated with international humanitarian agencies to establish additional sites.

19 OFDA Response: DRC On March 5, 2012, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires declared a disaster due to the effects of the munitions explosions. In response, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) provided $100,000 through the U.S. Embassy in Brazzaville to the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the procurement and distribution of emergency relief items for people displaced by the explosion. A USAID/OFDA senior humanitarian advisor based in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and the mission disaster relief officer for the DRC traveled to Brazzaville on March 5 to assist with humanitarian needs assessments. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political and Military Affairs, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement deployed a team to Brazzaville to determine safety concerns due to potential unexploded ordnance in the immediate and surrounding areas.

20 DART Response: Tropical Cyclone Giovanna During the early morning hours of February 14 local time, Tropical Cyclone Giovanna made landfall on the eastern coast of Madagascar, initially bringing winds of up to 120 miles per hour. The storm progressively weakened as it tracked southwest across the center of the island; however, strong winds and rain affected many population centers. As of February 16, Tropical Cyclone Giovanna had resulted in at least 17 deaths, 76 people injured, and a currently unknown number of people affected, according to preliminary Government of Madagascar reports. The storm had also caused significant damage to public infrastructure, such as water, electricity, and telecommunications services, throughout Madagascar.

21 DART Response: Tropical Cyclone Giovanna On February 15, 2012, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, declared a disaster due to the effects of the cyclone. In response, USAID/OFDA provided $50,000 through USAID/Madagascar to relief agency CARE to support post-storm clean-up activities and the procurement and distribution of emergency relief supplies. CARE also planned to draw from stocks of plastic sheeting and water containers pre-positioned with funding from USAID/OFDA in preparation for potential emergency shelter and sanitation needs that could arise during the cyclone season, which annually extends from October to April. In addition, USAID/OFDA deployed staff to Madagascar to assess humanitarian conditions and help determine possible additional USG response options in coordination with other USAID offices and the U.S. Embassy in Antananarivo.

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