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The U.S. is experiencing its most widespread drought in more than fifty years. In its monthly report, the National Climatic Data Center reported more than half the country was in moderate to extreme drought at the end of June. Farmers are losing crops and pastures at alarming rates, especially in the nation’s corn and soybean belt. The Department of Agriculture declared a thousand counties in twenty-six states as natural disaster areas. Many fear the drought will get worse before it gets better. What this could mean for food costs, the nation’s water supplies and weather patterns across the globe.
By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.