The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has ear marked $575 million as additional aid for Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen and Somalia. Mark Green, USAID administrator disclosed this recently at the United Nations General Assembly. The new funding will bring total expenditure by the US to $2.5 billion. The countries are being supported due to the various humanitarian crisis they are dealing with. Nigeria is currently facing a massive humanitarian crisis in parts of the North East due to the Boko Haram insurgency. The British Government had recently provided additional support to enable the North Eastern region recover from the crisis.
Where will the money go to ?
The money will be used to provide food, water, medical care and shelter. Part of the funding will also be used to tackle cholera outbreaks which are currently present in all 4 countries.
“With this new funding, the United States is providing emergency food and nutrition assistance, life-saving medical care, improved sanitation, emergency shelter, and protection for vulnerable groups who have been affected by conflict,” the agency said in a statement.
Why the US is providing Aid Though the US government may be providing the funds as aid, there may be deeper benefits behind it. Providing aid reduces the number of refugees that may attempt to illegally migrate to the US. The US and several European countries are battling with an influx of refugees from war torn regions in Africa.
The countries dealing with the humanitarian crisis are also hampered by funds. A drop in crude oil prices has led to the Nigerian government having to increase bond raising exercises, in order to meet its obligations. South Sudan is recovering from a civil war that was fought for decades.
USAID was brought into law in 1961 by President John Kennedy when he signed the Foreign Assistance Act into law. The agency invests in agriculture, health systems and democratic institutions.