The emergency assistance component of the foreign aid budget,
currently in excess of $ 500 million level, now accounts for
approximately 25% of U.S. development assistance.
Food aid need
is a measure and barometer of emergency conditions and it is
therefore important to note the estimate that over 26 million
people will require emergency food assistance worldwide in order
to maintain minimum nutritional levels.
Emergency food aid needs
worldwide are expected to rise from 4.8 million metric tons in
1996 to between 5.7 million and 6.2 million metric tons by the
year 2005. In 1996, there were approximately 13.5 million
refugees world wide and estimates of the number of persons
displaced as a result of open conflict ranged from 17 to 20
Experience has shown, however, an integrated approach
using both humanitarian and development assistance to support
economic and political transitions is necessary and critical to
safeguard sustainable development in the post Cold war era.
Accordingly, USAID's objectives in support of this goal are to:
(1) reduce the potential impact of crises; (2) meet critical
needs in times of crisis; and (3) contribute to the re 
establishment of personal security and basic institutions which
meet critical intermediate needs and protect human rights
following crises situations.
At the operational level, USAID
will contribute to the reduction of human suffering and enhanced
lives saved through 28 strategic objectives in 18 countries and 3
global strategic objectives.
The Agency views transitions as part of a continuum of stages and
phases from war to peace and relief to support economic and
political transformations towards sustainable development.
all the countries in which the Agency operates can be termed
transitions as broadly defined, experience suggests three
categories as follows:
conflict (war to peace), post conflict
reconstruction, and former socialist nations emerging towards
free market oriented democracies.
Under the performance goals
and indicators established this year, the Agency will report on
progress made, or not, in supporting the efforts of civil
society, recipient governments, and the donors to meet the
relief, political and, economic needs of transition situations
and nations.
This is not an easy task conceptually or
analytically as it in part requires evaluating and relating the
impact of U.S. assistance to prevent and/or mitigate crises and
loss of life and suffering.
USAID has focussed one performance goal and indicator on changes
in the number of refugees and internally displaced people for
they are the metaphors, and at times, pawns of crisis and

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