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Senator Cochran joins humanitarian effort


U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has joined a bipartisan effort to encourage the Trump administration to act quickly to release U.S. humanitarian aid to help alleviate a historic global famine.

Cochran is among a group of Senators who sent a letter to White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney encouraging the release of famine relief funding approved earlier this month as part of the FY2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act.

“Humanitarian aid can sometimes take months to reach its intended destination.  It is imperative that these funds be released without delay,” the letter stated.  “We urge you to take the necessary steps to apportion these funds as soon as possible.  Millions of lives are depending on it.”

The letter was prompted by ongoing severe famines in South Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen and Somalia, in addition to the nearly 110 million people in 45 countries who are expected to require emergency food assistance this year.

Congress appropriated $990 million in humanitarian aid to address famine conditions and the imminent threat of famine, including in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen.  The consolidated appropriations law also provided funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture international programs that support the delivery of American-grown food to foreign countries experiencing chronic hunger crises.

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) authored the letter, which was also signed by Cory Booker (D-N.J.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.).

Attached is a copy of the signed letter to the OMB director.

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