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Trump's budget cuts aid to Africa to boost spending on military

THE US Congress faces possible deadlock over President Donald Trump’s planned cuts to African aid projects to boost spending on imperialist military operations.

The move comes as the US beats the drum for war against Venezuela and Iran while attempting to strangle the Palestinian population with huge cuts to health and refugee support initiatives.

During the budget announcement for 2020, Mr Trump announced a massive 50 per cent cut in aid to health programmes in Africa, reprioritising money away from aid to the military.

Kenya will go from receiving $102 million (£86m) in aid to $43.5m (£37m), starting in October.

The reductions will impact all of sub-Saharan Africa, as the region which received $1.5 billion (£1.2bn) in 2018 will see a significant reduction to $665m (£566m) for 2020.

The Trump administration claims these cuts aim to “fundamentally transform the nature of our bilateral relationship with these countries from an aid-based focus to true trade partnership.”

While slashing health programmes significantly, the Trump budget will allocate $40bn (£34bn) to diplomacy and foreign aid, and a whopping $750bn (£638bn) to military programmes.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAid) will receive $20m (£17m) less than in 2018.

The HIV/Aids programme President’s Emergency Programme for Aids Relief (Pepfar), which has been saving thousands of lives in Kenya, will receive a more significant cut to its funding.

Congress looks set to reject the proposal as Chairman of the House of Representatives foreign affairs committee Eliot Engel warned: “The Trump administration’s attempt to hollow out our international affairs budget will meet bipartisan rejection in Congress.”

The White House justified the cuts as a way of “reducing dependency on US assistance and increasing self-sufficiency” on the part of African nations.

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