Politics & Government

UN hopes SC appointment will avert Trump spending cuts

Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg, left, reacts with former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley after a ceremony where Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill into law, Thursday, July 9, 2015, at the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C.
Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg, left, reacts with former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley after a ceremony where Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill into law, Thursday, July 9, 2015, at the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C. AP

By naming a former S.C. governor to manage a major international program, the United Nations is hoping it can avoid major cuts to humanitarian programs threatened by the Trump Administration.

Next week, former Gov. David Beasley will be sworn in as director of the World Food Program, the first Trump appointee to head a major U.N. relief agency.

In the process, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres hopes to dissuade the new U.S. administration from cutting a large portion of the more than $2 billion that the United States contributes each year to the agency to help fight hunger around the world, according to Foreign Policy magazine.

Beasley never has run an international relief operation, but he does have connections to other prominent South Carolinians: U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who formally nominated him for the post; U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-Seneca, who chairs an appropriations subcommittee that oversees U.N. funding; and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, the former congressman from South Carolina’s 5th District who has proposed steep cuts to U.N. funding in the federal budget.

“He (Guterres) felt that, because he (Beasley) knows so many policy makers in D.C., he could be an effective champion for continued U.S. funding for the World Food Program,” said Peter Yao, head of the Better World Campaign, a UN advocacy group.

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