US Allocates Billions for the Needy in Africa

Katrina Barker
March 10, 2018

A swift influx of USA assistance, along with that of other donors, is helping improve humanitarian conditions in all of these countries but ultimately it is up to the leaders in these countries, particularly in South Sudan, to stop the violence and put the welfare of their citizens at the forefront of their actions, the US State Department said in a statement seen by APA on Wednesday. Democracy, human rights and development take a back seat under the Trump administration, with sharp cuts in foreign aid.

The United States is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance in Africa, providing roughly $3 billion in aid since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2017, the state department said. "And the Chinese have understood it and have been more proactive and aggressive in a way that it's benefiting them", Brahima Coulibaly, the director of the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings Institution, said, commenting on the trip.

Tillerson also lauded the progress Africa, as a continent, has made with democracy.

He will visit five of Africa's fifty-four countries-Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria.

"... After repeatedly demonstrating indifference and skepticism about Africa's place in US foreign policy, Tillerson's speech ahead of his five-nation tour was the first to offer some sense of the Trump administration's Africa policy".

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Department of State provided the funding through which the vulnerable populations are expected to secure emergency food and nutrition assistance, including tens of thousands of tons of in-kind food aid.

The U.S. explained that it was looking at trying to build institutions, really strengthen institutions, and also have peaceful transitions and hold governments accountable to the people in Ethiopia.

"And what happens in Nigeria is going to affect the Lake Chad region, and that includes Cameroon as well as the G-5 countries".

Before arriving in Addis Ababa, Tillerson announced $533 million in additional humanitarian assistance to fight starvation and hunger in Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and other countries.

So far, the defining feature of this administration's Africa policy is its ramping-up counterterrorism engagement.

John Stremlau, an analyst on Africa and a visiting professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, argues that America's decline in influence in Africa has accelerated under Trump.

Trump has authorised the use of more aggressive USA military operations in Somalia and the deaths of four US soldiers in Niger past year shone a spotlight on increasing USA counter-terrorism engagement in West Africa. Trump has not named an assistant secretary for Africa to oversee the continent, nor an ambassador to key countries like South Africa. "Africa is a growing market with vast potential". "And I see the competition only getting stronger".

Chad, Djibouti and Ethiopia are rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2018. Djibouti is the site of the only US base in Africa.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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