As the world focuses on Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia and efforts of the U.S. Congress to roll back healthcare for Americans, 20 million Africans are at risk of starvation within the next 6 months.
For reasons of drought, conflict, and insufficient food aid, 5 million South Sudanese and 17 million Yemenis (60% of the population) are in urgent and immediate need of food assistance, while northern Nigeria and Somalia are also perilously close to the brink. In addition, many of the refugees now arriving in Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Rwanda are suffering from severe malnutrition, while food rations in their host countries have been severely cut because of the lack of aid.
USAID, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, and other disaster and relief organizations have for the past year been warning of the impending crisis in Africa. In March 2017, the United Nations called it “the worst humanitarian crisis” since the end of World War II, and has urgently called for $4.4 billion in emergency funding for intervention.
In his first proposed budget cuts, announced in March 2017, Donald Trump disclosed his plan to eliminate the $182 million earmarked by the Obama administration for donations in 2017 of U.S. agricultural commodities to food-deficit countries. This was extremely short-sighted policy, as widespread famine adds to what is already an overwhelming migrant crisis globally, and the extreme need is expected in some places to cause an increase in terrorist activity. In short, the economy and the security of the world is dependent on getting these people food.
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