U.S. budget proposal cuts climate funding, international aid

By AT editor - 23 May 2017 at 9:48 pm
U.S. budget proposal cuts climate funding, international aid

American officials on Tuesday released a much-awaited $37.6 billion combined budget request for the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), one that cuts more than $17 billion from the “leaner” government’s diplomatic and foreign aid programs.

“This budget request supports the President’s ‘America First’ vision with a commitment to four key national priorities,” said Rex Tillerson, the U.S. Secretary of State. Those priorities focus on security and counterterrorism, while boosting America’s global influence and economic opportunities — while delivering steep spending cuts.

Key highlights of the budget request include the elimination of both America’s funding for the Global Climate Change Initiative and U.S. contributions to the Green Climate Fund.

A total of $434.4 million for sub-Saharan Africa is planned for ongoing development programs that combat the rise of extremism, including $71 million for Democratic Republic of Congo and $60 million for Ethiopia.

On global health, the funding request includes $6.5 billion in infectious disease prevention and maternal and child health programs, including vaccinations. Funding for PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, would be $5 billion if the budget is approved as written; of that, $1.1 billion is earmarked for the U.S. commitments to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Details on a total of $292.2 million in health programs and $50.6 million in nutrition funding for sub-Saharan African nations and USAID regional programs in Africa are listed in the budget document, along with proposed figures for Ebola emergency funds, malaria programs and other initiatives.

The budget document, in language consistent with previous announcements since U.S. President Donald Trump took office,  says that it ends all funding for family planning.

“The U.S. is by far the largest overall global health donor,” the document says. “While the United States will continue significant funding for global health programs, even while refocusing foreign assistance, other stakeholders must do more to contribute their fair share to global health initiatives.”

To see the complete budget proposal, see this link.

To learn more about American programs and agencies historically involved in international development, see the ForeignAssistance.gov site linked here.

Image: USAID

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