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Food & Hunger

Trump Seeks Help From Other Countries to Fight Famines Devastating Parts of Africa

As four nations face mass starvation in the horn of Africa, US President Donald Trump is hoping to convince the world to take decisive action to save lives, according to new reports.

Last week, Trump abandoned plans to issue an executive order that would have slowed down US food aid to Africa, according to Reuters.

The proposal would have mandated that all US food aid be transported on US-owned cargo ships, which would have made the process of getting food to those in need slower and more expensive, according to reports.

Sen. Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Democratic committee member Sen. Chris Coons both opposed the change, and plans for the order were later dropped, according to Reuters.

Take Action: President Trump Has Requested Cuts To Foreign Assistance. Call On Congress To Fight Back.

Corker told Reuters that Trump, “as a businessman,” understood the change to the cargo rule would “drive up the cost of food aid and cause more people to starve around the world.”

And now, White House officials say Trump is planning to encourage other nations to increase their efforts to avert a major food crisis in Africa this summer, according to Politico.

Four nations are currently on the brink of famine: Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, and Nigeria. Amid armed conflict in three and a devastating drought in Somalia, 20 million people face limited access to enough nutrients each day to survive.

The president could push for other countries to increase aid at the G20 Summit in Germany this week, according to Politico.

Read More: Famine Is Making South Sudan the ‘Fastest Growing Refugee Crisis’

“This administration wants to demonstrate our global leadership,” Garry Hall, senior director for international organizations and alliances at the National Security Council, told the website. “This is right in the president’s agenda. It makes America great because America is good. It’s in our national DNA.”

The officials would not offer details to Politico, which also noted that it was unclear whether other nations would listen to the US amid tensions between Trump and European allies.

Read More: Richer, Safer, Healthier: 4 Ways Robust Foreign Aid Is Good for Americans

Trump has also proposed slashing the United States’ foreign aid budget and its contributions to the United Nations, which could undermine his push, according to the report.

And the last time Trump gathered with leaders of the world for the G7, disagreements, including on climate change, occurred.

But the prospect of an unprecedented hunger crisis could spur action. The US has contributed more than $2 billion to anti-famine funding this year, including an emergency $990 million passed by Congress weeks ago.

Congress and Trump could continue to prioritize funding to end the hunger crisis emerging in Africa, and help lead the rest of the world to take action, too.