US President Donald Trump on Saturday promised $639 million in aid to people facing starvation due to drought and conflict.
Rob Jenkins, acting head, bureau of democracy, conflict and humanitarian assistance at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) said Nigeria would get $121 million from the money.
He also said “more than $191 million would go to Yemen, $199 million to South Sudan and nearly $126 million for Somalia.”
“With this new assistance, the US is providing additional emergency food and nutrition assistance, life-saving medical care, improved sanitation, emergency shelter and protection for those who have been affected by conflict,” he said in a statement.
Jenkins said conflicts in all the four countries had made it difficult to reach some communities in need of food.
While noting that USAID was also concerned about the situation in southern Ethiopia, he said Washington already provided “some 252 million dollars this year to Ethiopia, but the needs continue to grow”.
“We’re in a dire situation right now. The situation in southern Ethiopia fortunately does not rise to the dire situation of the other four, but the situation is deteriorating and might very well be catastrophic without additional interventions,” he added.
Trump’s pledge came during a working session of the G20 summit of world leaders in Germany, David Beasley, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) executive director, said on the sidelines of the meeting, according to Reuters.
“We are facing the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two,” he was quoted to have said.
He described the pledge as “providing a godsend to the suffering millions” and the global food agency fighting hunger worldwide.
The new funding makes it over $1.8 billion aid promised by the US in the 2017 fiscal year for the crises in the four countries where more than 30 million people need urgent food assistance, according to the UN.
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