The United States government has pledged to give Zimbabwe US$45 million towards prevention of hunger.
This pledge is in violation of an order by U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) which on Thursday called for a freeze on expending “unobligated resources,” referring to several billion dollars in foreign aid approved by Congress in 2018 and 2019 but as yet unspent.
The pledge came immediately after the United Nations has appealed to sympathisers and partners to assist Zimbabwe to avert projected starvation.
Recently, President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared the drought a national disaster. He had earlier projected that the country would need 800 000 tonnes of maize.
Zimbabwe is facing a huge food deficit following El-Nino induced drought and Tropical Cyclone Idai which destroyed crops which were weeks away from harvest.
The decision by the Trump administration has attracted the wrath of some humanitarian groups and congressional representatives. House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman, Eliot Engel, said:
This administration’s contempt for Congress is astounding. When Congress decides how much we can spend on foreign assistance, it isn’t a suggestion. It’s the law, backed up by the Constitution.