14 February 2018

Africa: Aid Groups Wary of Trump's Budget Slash

Nairobi — HUMANITARIAN aid agencies are concerned the United States' plans to cut foreign assistance funding will have a dire impact on millions of people.

A cut of 30 percent from the previous budget has been proposed in the 2019 budget, which would be for the second year that the foreign assistance funding would be reduced.

The cuts come at a time when 815 million people face food shortages and almost 66 million are displaced from their homes, mostly in Africa.

"We are deeply disappointed in this proposal," said Neal Keny-Guyer, Chief Executive Officer of Mercy Corps.

He said among countries that would be affected by funding cuts are South Sudan, the world's newest country that is suffering a deadly civil war.

Keny-Guyer said the cuts proposed in the American budget request does not demonstrate American leadership.

"They demonstrate American retreat," Keny-Guyer added.

President Donald Trump's administration, which assumed office in 2017, supports re-orienting America's resources toward domestic needs.

He has also courted controversy for his negative sentiments on African nations.

A local analyst said multiple US governments had focused on alleviating poverty, addressing public health crises such as Ebola, and maintaining global stability.

"Now, more than ever, America cannot afford to cede its global position in an effort to shape a more peaceful and prosperous world," he said.

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