UN World Food Programme head rips Trump budget

UN World Food Programme head rips Trump budget
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The outgoing head of the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) says Congress will reject budget cuts to aid agencies proposed by President Trump’s administration, saying the proposal would result in "starving babies."

“The budget that has been suggested by the administration does not reflect the generosity of the American people,” WFP executive director Ertharin Cousin said in Rome Monday, according to the Associated Press.

“No one in America believes that ‘America First’ means that other people must die,” she added, referencing Trump's foreign policy slogan. "I sincerely believe that no American wants to see images of starving babies.”

Cousin she does "not believe at this point" that Trump's cuts would become law. "I don’t think the American people will allow it," she said.


Cousin’s remarks come the day before she ends five years leading the WFP, the world’s largest anti-hunger humanitarian organization.

The Trump administration has picked former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley (R) as her replacement.

Cousin said she hopes Trump’s administration “will recognize that the security of the United States is directly related” to ensuring food security and development opportunities for the world’s poor people.

“The policies of the Obama administration will reflect that they ‘got’ that,” she said. "The policies of the Trump administration would suggest that they don’t believe that that is the case.”

America is the WFP’s largest contributor, having provided the initiative with $2 billion annually since 2014.

The WFP serves nearly 80 million needy people with emergency food aid and related assistance in conflict areas, refugee camps and natural disaster zones worldwide, the AP said.

Reports emerged last month the administration is considering a proposed $1 billion reduction in funding for U.N. peacekeeping, children’s and poverty programs.

The State Department was purportedly warned that it will reduce its U.N. peacekeeping budget by 40 percent after the U.S. contributed over $2 billion to that $8 billion total budget last year.

Presidential budgets are only a guideline for Congress, and lawmakers from both parties reacted with skepticism to the one Trump put forward last month.