Sen. Bob Corker talks US Aid, visit to Uganda refugee camp

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Many of the world's most impoverished countries depend on U.S. Aid to feed their people.

Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn) just returned from Uganda, where he visited with some of the 270,000 people who live in the world's largest refugee camp Bidi Bidi. The camp's refugees escaped war in South Sudan.

The Trump administration has proposed drastic cuts in the State Department budget that funds programs that feed people across the world in desperate circumstances.

Corker told the East Memphis Rotary Club about meeting a 21-year-old woman who witnessed the death of her parents and had been raped by a solider on her months-long walk to the camp. Now, the young woman is five months pregnant with her attacker's baby.

"The United States was there with other countries making sure she had safety and food," Corker said. "So many people think we're spending 25 or 30 percent of our budget on things like that. It's truly 1 percent. And every military, every general in the U.S. will tell you please, don't stop doing that because if you do, the likelihood increases of the people underneath me being in harm's way."

Corker said that 1 percent of the U.S. budget funds the entire U.S. State Department and all the U.S. Aid America shares around the world.

The Trump Administration had first proposed a 37 percent cut to the state department budget and now favors a 28 percent reduction.

Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which oversees the State Department, said the 1-percent investment in diplomacy and US Aid is an investment in peace.  

"We spend 1 percent of our budget helping other people around the world so we can do things that'll avoid conflict," Corker said.

To watch the in-depth interview with Sen. Corker, click here.

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