Analysts believe the cuts represent the Trump administration's lack of focus on Africa.
President Donald Trump has announced the budget for 2020, which includes a cut of over 50% for aid to Kenya. The United States is taking steps for an overall reduction of funding for many programs in the continent of Africa.
Trump Budget Hikes Defense Budget to $750B, Cuts Health Funding
Starting in October 2019, Kenya will go from receiving US$102 million in aid to $43.5 million. The significant reduction will be felt throughout all of sub-Saharan Africa, as the United States calls for huge cuts in funding for development throughout the entire region.
The region is approved for US$665 million in 2020, which marks a huge decrease from the US$1.5 billion received in 2018.
The cuts threaten many health programs in Kenya that are managed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAid), which will now be receiving US$20 million less than 2018.
The Pepfar program, known for saving hundreds of Kenyan lives through prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, will go from receiving US$441 million to US$276 million. The cut to Pepfar reflects 22% cut to the President's Emergency Program for AIDS Relief.
The cut in budgets from the US does not affect Kenya alone. There's similar reduction of more than 50% for sub-Saharan Africa. The budget allocation for the region will plunge from 1.5 billion US dollars to 665 million US dollars in 2020 https://t.co/t9qcjRNdo2 #SokoNews pic.twitter.com/xCPT09T2Mj— Sokodirectory.com (@sokodirectory) March 14, 2019
The Trump administration says these cuts aims to "fundamentally transform the nature of our bilateral relationship with these countries from an aid-based focus to true trade partnership." Analysts believe the cuts represent the Trump administration's lack of focus on Africa.
However, it is unlikely that the terms of the budget will be approved by Congress.
Chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel predicts that "the Trump administration’s attempt to hollow out our international affairs budget will meet bipartisan rejection in Congress.”
While Trump's proposed budget allocates US$40 billion for diplomacy and foreign aid combined, the president has reprioritized funds to favor military programs for which he has set aside US$750 billion.