Chris Smith, the chairman of the House of Representatives’ Africa subcommittee, has assured Kenya and it’s neighbouring countries that food aid won’t be cut despite Trump administration’s recent move which wants it slashed.
“The president proposes; Congress disposes,” said Smith. “Congress will make sure we get humanitarian assistance to where we need it most.”
The comments come at a time when the number of people currently facing starvation has doubled to almost three million. Smith’s comments were made at a hearing his subcommittee held on the topic of ‘East Africa’s Quiet Famine’.
Smith was joined by Matthew Nims, acting director of the Food for Peace programme in the US Agency for International Development (USAid).
Nims said that with this being the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II, US cannot sit and watch.
“USAid has rapidly scaled up and is redirecting its efforts,” he told the House panel. The agency provided about $1.5 billion worth of food resources to drought-affected countries in East Africa as well as to Yemen in 2016.”
Nims, however, said that the US cannot do it alone and other organization should join.
“We need all our United Nations, NGO, affected government and donor partners working together to tackle these challenges.”
“Humanitarian assistance can’t solve these crises,” he warned. The hunger afflicting millions of South Sudanese, Somalis, Yemenis and Nigerians is “man-made.”