by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Biden administration plans to spend $1.5 million in taxpayer funds on a program aimed at “empowering” female climate change activists in northern Kenya, documents reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon show.
President Joe Biden’s U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on May 22 unveiled the funding opportunity, which is aimed at “empowering women to adapt to climate change in northern Kenya.” Women in the area, the agency wrote in its notice, live in “traditionally patriarchal communities” and therefore lack the ability to steer the African nation’s fight against climate change. As such, the agency is putting big money behind a program that will “empower women, improve their participation in decision making, and enhance adaptive capabilities to climate change.”
The funding announcement comes roughly one year after USAID released its 2022-2030 climate strategy, which outlines a $150 billion “whole-of-Agency approach” to building an “equitable world with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.” As part of that approach, USAID pledged to help “women, youth, and other marginalized and/or underrepresented groups” increase their “meaningful participation and active leadership in climate action.” The agency has since set aside millions of dollars to inspire and support overseas climate activists—in addition to its northern Kenya grant, USAID in March announced a program that will help disabled people in the Central Asian country of Tajikistan become “climate leaders,” the Free Beacon reported.
Those efforts have prompted criticism from congressional Republicans, who argue that the spending is a waste of taxpayer funds. Florida Republican senator Rick Scott in March said American tax dollars “should be supporting Americans, not overseas climate activists,” while Virginia Republican congressman Ben Cline hammered Biden for using public funds “to build an army of Green New Deal activists around the world.” Still, USAID’s northern Kenya grant shows the agency has no plans to slow its spending on foreign climate activism.