Trump Transition Team’s Questionnaire On Africa Viewed As Skeptical About Humanitarian, Health Aid, Including PEPFAR

The Atlantic: Tragedy Would Unfold if Trump Cancels Bush’s AIDS Program
“…Last Friday, Helene Cooper at the New York Times reported that the [Trump] transition team sent a four-page questionnaire to the State Department about America’s relationship with Africa, on topics ranging from terrorism to humanitarianism. Several questions indicated ‘an overall skepticism about the value of foreign aid.’ Two mentioned PEPFAR in particular: ‘Is PEPFAR worth the massive investment when there are so many security concerns in Africa? Is PEPFAR becoming a massive, international entitlement program?’ … Defunding the program would be catastrophic…” (Yong, 1/17).

Globe and Mail: Rex Tillerson’s dealings in Africa criticized as ‘questionable’
“…Mr. Trump rarely speaks about Africa, and his policies toward the continent are unclear. But some analysts believe the Tillerson nomination [to secretary of state] is a foreshadowing of a Trump policy that will emphasize U.S. commercial and security interests in Africa, at the expense of democracy and good governance. At his Senate nomination hearing last week, Mr. Tillerson said little about Africa. He spoke briefly about U.S. foreign aid for Africa, heaping praise on a U.S. program known as PEPFAR … But a list of Africa-related questions to the State Department, submitted by the Trump transition team, is highly negative in its tone about PEPFAR and other U.S. aid programs…” (York, 1/15).

New York Times: Trump Team’s Queries About Africa Point to Skepticism About Aid
“President-elect Donald J. Trump’s views of Africa have, until now, been a mystery. But a series of questions from the Trump transition team to the State Department indicate an overall skepticism about the value of foreign aid, and even about American security interests, on the world’s second-largest continent. A four-page list of Africa-related questions from the transition staff has been making the rounds at the State Department and Pentagon, alarming longtime Africa specialists who say the framing and the tone of the questions suggest an American retreat from development and humanitarian goals, while at the same time trying to push forward business opportunities across the continent…” (Cooper, 1/13).

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