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Budget calls for deep cuts to foreign aid, especially for refugees and in humanitarian crises (Washington Post)

March 11, 2019

From the article:

The Trump administration is proposing slashing the budget for the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) by almost 24 percent, with particularly steep cuts to humanitarian aid, refugee assistance and global health programs.

The proposed 2020 budget would take three funds that collectively are funded by more than $9 billion and consolidate them into an International Humanitarian Assistance fund that would be allotted about $6 billion, a one-third drop. In addition, the administration proposes cutting global health programs from $8.7 billion this year to $6.3 billion next year, a cut of almost 28 percent.

The White House budget request reflects the priorities of the administration, which has not been successful at getting its proposals past a Congress in which foreign spending enjoys wide bipartisan support. The administration submitted even deeper drops in foreign spending during each of the previous two years, and Congress largely restored them.

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Development aid groups have long recommended consolidating accounts to streamline responses to humanitarian disasters. Keeping them separate and narrowly focused can hold up assistance.

“Putting three accounts into a single account would be a good idea, if it’s not used to cover cuts in collective resources by a third,” said Jeremy Konyndyk, a policy fellow at the Center for Global Development.

 

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Senior Policy Fellow