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Scott Morris has pointed to the lack of ambition on the part of the current administration when it comes to US engagement in multilateral institutions. With the notable exception of its decision to support the World Bank’s recent general capital increase, the Trump administration has voiced broad desire for reform while curbing international commitments.This diminished ambition is evidenced in its FY20 budget request by both a decline in the number of funds and institutions included in the budget request and in funding commitments by value. This chart shows the Obama administration’s final budget request (FY17) for the international financial institutions compared to the Trump administration’s latest request.
In its FY20 budget request, the administration also proposes merging humanitarian funding streams and re-aligning interagency roles. This is a first, and comes in response to a government-wide reform and reorganization plan issued last year that called for optimizing US humanitarian response.
For the third time, the Trump administration proposed merging a number of bilateral economic assistance accounts: the Economic Support Fund, USAID’s Development Assistance, the Democracy Fund, and Assistance for Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia. Appropriators have twice rejected the merger—and the third time seems unlikely to be the charm for this plan given its pairing with the type of steep cuts ($2.4 billion or more than 31 percent) that have proven unpopular in past years.
Last week the World Bank's Chief Economist (now former), Paul Romer, told the Wall Street Journal the Bank had manipulated its own competitiveness rankings to undermine Chile's socialist government, and hinted Chile might not be alone—then he retracted the claim. Romer's conspiracy theories probably aren't credible, but neither are the Doing Business numbers.
Sometime around 2045, Nigeria’s population will pass the United States in size. Nigeria isalready the world’s most under-powered country in the world relative to its income—nearly 80 percent below global trends. As large as the power gap is today, what will Nigeria’s electricity generation capacity look like in 30 years?