U.S. Commitment to Lead on Humanitarian Issues

Apr 22, 2018

The United States is committed to maintaining its long-standing position as a global leader on humanitarian issues. “We understand the importance and necessity of humanitarian assistance, even as we work to preclude the crises that spawn the need for assistance,” said Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.“By helping those who bear the brunt of war, natural disaster, or the failure of good governance and policy, we preserve that chance for a more prosperous and more peaceful world for generations to come.”

The United States is the single largest donor of international humanitarian assistance. In 2017 alone, we delivered more than 8 billion dollars in life-saving aid around the world.

Nonetheless, the need for humanitarian aid is ever increasing and changing. Just a decade ago, 80 percent of our humanitarian assistance went to victims of natural disaster. Now natural disaster relief accounts for only about 20 percent—80 percent of aid goes to victims of disasters caused by humans. Much of that is due to carnage inflicted on civilian populations by terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaida, or due to vicious conflicts such as those in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

John Sullivan
John Sullivan

What's clear is that one government or one entity can't tackle these issues alone.

“As we continue this humanitarian leadership, we will also continue to emphasize the importance of coordinated, effective, and efficient international responses, as well as the need for other governments and other actors in the private sector to step in to contribute to humanitarian efforts,” said Deputy Secretary of State Sullivan.

“A global response, with increasing financial support of multiple nations and groups, is essential to effectively moving more help to the many who are in need and to ensure a greater regional stability across the globe,” he declared.

Nonetheless, “Despite our best efforts, most of these crises, conflicts, and natural disasters are not going to stop anytime soon. Most will ultimately require a diplomatic solution – results that we are working toward each and every day. But,” said Deputy Secretary of State Sullivan, “until those solutions arrive, you can count on the United States to help everyone where we can to alleviate suffering and save lives.”