The so-called “four famines” currently afflict South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen.
The US ambassador to the UN has called the famines “the largest food security emergency since World War II.” The UN seeks nearly $5 billion to help halt the four famines; only half of the necessary funds have come in. At least $2.2 billion more is needed this year to stave off the worst.
Despite the Trump administration’s general skepticism of foreign aid, the United States has largely answered the call. Washington has pledged nearly $1.2 billion for famine relief since November.
Germany, Britain and Sweden have given generously and disproportionately, while others, like Saudi Arabia, have failed to meet their pledges. Still other countries, like Russia, have yet to meaningfully get in the game.
It’s here that President Trump could rack up a win for his administration and for humanity. When a president conveys the gravity of an impending catastrophe to the American people and explains the country’s role in averting it, they tend to support it.
The administration should challenge other wealthy countries to follow our lead, and publicly recognize those who do. In a divided country and jumbled world, foreign policy successes are difficult to come by. A victory against famine would not make a bad first year accomplishment.