Theres a new food truck driving around Washington this week but its not serving people lunch. Instead, its dishing out information about President Donald Trumps proposed budget cuts to humanitarian aid.
Staffers from nonprofit Oxfam America are manning a Famine Food Truck to spread awareness of food crises leaving20 million people acrossSomalia, Nigeria, Yemen, and South Sudanon the brink of starvation.
President Trumps budget proposal is immoral, short-sighted, and un-American, Paul OBrien, Oxfam Americas vice president for policy and campaigns, said in a statement. If enacted, this budget would mean death for many vulnerable women, children and men around the world.
America First must not mean the rest of the world goes to hell, OBrien added.
The U.N. declared a famine in parts of South Sudan in February, and international officials fear that Yemen, Somalia and Nigeria could soon face similar fates. Several factors contribute to these crises, according to Oxfam, including drought, climate change, conflict, and poor governance.
In response to Trumps proposed foreign aid cuts, staffers on Oxfams truck are handing out food boxes. But instead of food, they contain information about the budget, Ben Grossman-Cohen, the groups global campaign manager, told HuffPost.
The side of the truck lists a number that people can text to help contact political leaders. When I texted Famine Truck to 97779, for instance, I was texted a link to a site, which prompted me to input my zip code and address. It then populated witha pre-written email to send to my state lawmakers.
Once someone has texted the number, Oxfam can continue to send prompts to help spur further action, such as calling members of Congress, Grossman-Cohen said.
Trumps proposed budget would cut $11.5 billion or 29 percent from the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), according to The Washington Post. It notably eliminates a program that buys food from U.S. farmers for emergency food aid.
The United Nations, meanwhile, has said the world is facing the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II, according to NPR, and has requested at least $4.4 billion by July to fight extreme hunger.
Trump is proposing cuts that we have not seen in recent memory from either party, Grossman-Cohen said. There has been strong bipartisan support for international poverty assistance programs … until now.It is unprecedented.
Oxfam, which relies mostly on charitable donations for its operations, would not be affected by the budget cuts, Grossman-Cohen said.
Members of Congress from both parties signaled that Trumps budget had no chance of passage. The lawmakers will draft their own budget soon.
The Famine Food Truck is driving around D.C. until Friday, Grossman-Cohen said. It can be located by searching #FamineFoodTruck on Twitter.
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