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Improving the U.S. Government's Humanitarian Response [Full Text]

Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 18.2 (Fall 2004)

September 24, 2004

The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) was created in 1964 to provide emergency nonfood humanitarian assistance in response to international crises and disasters, in order to save lives and alleviate human suffering and to reduce the economic impact of those disasters. The office operates under the overall mandate of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which is to provide “economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States.”1 OFDA coordinates relief efforts for the U.S. government, and funds relief efforts by UN humanitarian agencies, private nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and other international organizations.