UN World Food Programme Head Says Trump Budget Will Result in 'Starving Babies'

“No one in America believes that ‘America First’ means that other people must die.”

by Alex Swerdloff
Apr 7 2017, 3:00pm

Photo via Flickr user UNAMID Photo

Putting a pretty fine point on the matter, the outgoing head of the world's largest humanitarian organization against hunger said on Monday that, if passed, President Trump's proposed budget would result in "starving babies."

The World Food Programme provides food aid to over 80 million severely disadvantaged people—including refugees—worldwide. The US has been their largest contributor, giving $2 billion annually since 2014.

READ MORE: We Don't Need Pesticides to Feed the World, According to UN

But all that's likely to change—at least, if Trump has his way. According to the budget proposed by Trump last month, deep cuts in the World Food Programme's budget are inevitable. The administration is said to be seriously considering reducing funding to the UN for peacekeeping, children's programs, and poverty assistance, by as much as $1 billion.

Ertharin Cousin, who has been the head of the United Nations' World Food Programme for the past five years, made the statement in Rome on Monday. She did add, however, that she does not believe Americans will allow the budget to pass through Congress: "I sincerely believe that no American wants to see images of starving babies." Referring to Trump's motto, she added, "No one in America believes that 'America First' means that other people must die."

"I don't think the American people will allow it," she said.

READ MORE: We Are About to Hit the Point of No Return for Sustainable Fishing

In a direct dig at Trump, Cousin said that the Obama administration "got" how important the World Food Programme's work is to millions worldwide, but that "the policies of the Trump administration would suggest that they don't believe that that is the case."

MUNCHIES has reached out to the World Food Programme for comment, but has not yet received a response.

Cousin's replacement will be Trump nominee David Beasley, the Republican governor of South Carolina. According to a report in the New York Times, Cousin said Beasley "underscored his commitment to raising resources for WFP at a time when the organization is facing four major famine threats and to working toward the UN goal of ending hunger."

Will Congress approve a budget that will assure starvation for many worldwide? We can only wait and see.