David Beasley, executive director of the U.N. World Food Programme, praised President Donald Trump on Saturday for pledging a “godsend” of $639 million to help fund humanitarian programs throughout the world.
“We’re facing the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two,” said Beasley, a Republican and former South Carolina governor who was appointed by Trump to head the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting worldwide hunger.
Beasley noted that roughly $331 million will go towards feeding people starving in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen.
Data from the WFP shows that the number of people throughout the world who will need food assistance this year has spiked to approximately 109 million — up from 80 million last year. Wars and “man-made” crises are the reasons for hunger in 10 of the 13 zones most affected by famine.
“We estimated that if we didn’t receive the funding we needed immediately that 400,000 to 600,000 children would be dying in the next four months,” said Beasley.
Beasley said the agency had worked hard with the White House and the U.S. government to secure the funding, but Trump wanted other countries to also step up as well.
To that end, Germany recently pledged an additional 200 million euros for food relief, but the U.S. continues to be the largest donor to the WFP.
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