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US Congress manages to stave off Africa Aid cuts… for now

President Donald Trump accepts Congress’ Federal Government spending plan, but in a few months US aid in Africa could once again face steep cuts.

The US Congress has passed a proposal to retain several of America’s aid programs in Africa. The spending bill includes the provision of USD 1 billion for drought stricken areas on the African continent. The move has been widely accepted as a rejection of the aid cuts Republican President Donald Trump is pushing for.

According to Fox Business, the bill will only serve as a temporary measure to preserve federal government spending for 2017. By September, when the 2018 budget is discussed, President Trump is expected to reignite his push for steep allocation cuts on funding foreign projects.

President Trump’s ‘America first’ objective has seen the leader face strong criticism that his vision comes at the expense of impoverished countries who depend on funds to survive. USAid, for example, has given assistance to Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen where chronic and acute food shortages occur. The US also supports health programmes in Africa including the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  Congress has also managed to put on hold funding cuts to the USD 30 million African Development Foundation. The organisation is believed to be one of those President Trump favoured eliminating.

Radical decision making is not uncommon in President Trump’s administration. During his first days after election, the President targeted Muslim-majority African countries, preventing its citizens from entering the US for 90 days and banning the admission of refugees for 120 days. Refugees from Sudan, Libya, and Somalia were among those hit. That order has now been overturned by US court judges.

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