USAID requests more money to fight hunger, coronavirus, other crises in Africa and around the world

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) needs increased funding in order to effectively combat humanitarian crises and advance democratic interests around the world, Administrator Samantha Power on Wednesday.

Administrator Power made the comments in her opening statement on the fiscal year 2022 budget request to the Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs.

Underscoring the importance of adequate funding, Power said, “With your support, USAID will move aggressively to tackle the world’s toughest problems in order to build a more stable and prosperous future for us all.”

In Africa and the rest of the world, the coronavirus pandemic has combined with the effects of climate change as well as human rights abuses to exacerbate challenges and difficulties for countless people.

The global pandemic has resulted in at least 3.5 million deaths according to USAID and has destabilized many economies, resulting in a widespread increase in world poverty and hunger.

Authoritarian regimes around the world such as China and Russia have exploited vulnerability to act more aggressively and advance their interests in recent years.

In addition to widespread economic instability and food shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic and climate change, countless people around the world struggle with unacceptable human rights conditions or violations. In Ethiopia, for example, USAID reports that there are millions of people in Tigray alone that are in need of humanitarian assistance due to the ongoing conflict and human rights abuses.

“I am very glad that USAID, the world’s premier development agency, is uniquely positioned to confront the world’s toughest problems and to catalyze our partners to do the same. The steps we take to combat COVID-19, climate change, conflict, and other ills abroad, make us safer, while demonstrating compassion for, and cooperation with, people all over the world,” said Administrator Power.

Over the past year, the need for life-saving humanitarian assistance around the globe has increased dramatically. The Biden administration has asserted that the United States ought to establish itself as a global force for good. Along these lines, USAID is one of the most prominent and practical tools for making this happen. Yet, there is only so much that can be done with a limited budget and an extensive list of people that need help.

Administrator Samantha Power claims that USAID strategically uses resources in order to most effectively help those in need of assistance but has asserted that it is a legitimate and important use of tax-payer money to ensure substantial funding for the agency.

“Our investments meet the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized people, build resilience to extreme weather, combat the spread of infectious diseases, and contribute to a much needed global economic recovery,” said Power.

Noah Pitcher is a global politics correspondent for Today News Africa covering the U.S. government, United Nations, African Union, and other actors involved in international developments, political controversies, and humanitarian issues.

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