The Trump administration is set to announce on Thursday that it will award $1 billion to charity groups that have been at the forefront of the fight against the Zika virus.
The $1 million allocation will be made by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which administers the Trump-era US Foreign Assistance Act, according to the White House.
The announcement is likely to fuel speculation about who will receive the funds.
The money will come from USAID’s annual Overseas Contribution to Humanitarian Assistance, a $10 billion pool of money dedicated to humanitarian aid that was set up to support the poorest people in the world, according the White, House and State Department websites.
In 2017, the group provided nearly $7 billion in humanitarian assistance to more than 180 countries, according USAID.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Trump Administration has repeatedly pledged to cut aid to foreign aid agencies, particularly in the Zika-affected countries, and the US is the largest donor to the aid agencies.
The number of Zika cases in the United States has dropped dramatically in the past two weeks, and more than 50 people have been confirmed to have the virus, which can cause serious birth defects.
US President Donald Trump (left) listens to a question during a news conference at the White Palace in Washington, DC, February 21, 2019.
/ AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHONAS KAMP / AFP) In its latest statement, USAID said the funds would be made available for grants to help with relief efforts and to support local development.
The agency said the grants would also be used to support other humanitarian programs, including the Women, Infants, and Children Fund, which is the world’s largest humanitarian aid program.
“These funds will help support a range of important work to ensure that every family in need is provided access to basic needs such as clean water, food, and hygiene,” the statement said.
The fund was established by former President Barack Obama in 2015 to provide humanitarian assistance for people in need in the countries most vulnerable.
Since then, more than $1 trillion has been spent on assistance in the nations most affected by the Zika outbreak, including Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
The funds were intended to be distributed in the first three years of the President’s presidency, the White Senate said in a statement last week.