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China putting many African countries in debt, says US 

THE United States says China is putting many African countries in debt through its infrastructure loans. 

Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, spoke in an interview today.

According to her, African nations will have to deal with the consequences of their relationship with China.  

She said unlike China, America wants to help African nations build a future for its next generation. 

Thomas-Greenfield said: “China is spending billions of dollars on infrastructure. It is not a gift. It is basically a yoke that is putting many countries in debt, but countries have made these decisions. And they will work with having to deal with the consequences of these decisions down the road. Our message to Africa is we want to be your partner. We want to help you build a future for your next generation and we want to do that together with you.” 

Thomas-Greenfield, who was speaking with Nick Schifrin of PBS NewsHour,  also spoke on the Somali crisis.

“We want to do everything we can to avert this next round of failed rainfalls, which should happen sometime around the March-April timeframe. And what we need to do is get more donors to support the people of Somalia. I announced $40 million when I was there, that’s in addition to the $1.3 billion that we provided already, but more is needed to be done by more people. We have to be much more ambitious. We have to be more aggressive. We have to save lives,” she said.

On the European Union’s humanitarian response plan to Somalia, the envoy said: ” Everybody needs to do more. So traditional donors like the European Union and others in Europe – who are already providing funding – but we’re also calling on non-traditional donors – donors who might not otherwise think about engaging on Somalia – to also contribute to this effort. This is about humanity. There’s no reason for people to die of hunger. We have the tools that we need to support them. We just need the resources.”

She disagreed with the belief that there is compassion fatigue. 

“I don’t think so. I hear compassion fatigue being used all the time. I heard when I was in Africa concern that resources are being redirected to Ukraine. All of the funding that we have provided to Ukraine is new money. And we’re still funding other humanitarian needs. And we encourage other countries to do exactly the same. We can’t be fatigued about people dying. We can’t lose our sense of humanity, our compassion for people. It is important that we not watch another child die of hunger.”

She explained why U.S. assistance cannot be conditioned more on performance: “We can’t condition humanitarian assistance and allow people to die. We have to support the humanitarian imperative that Somalia puts in front of us. Also, if they are going to defeat al-Shabaab, they have to be trained. And we have worked to train their soldiers so that they do abide by humanitarian and human rights rules. And we’re working to push Somalia for the first time, closer to a more inclusive – closer to a democratic government.”

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