State Department, USAID seeking $50.3bn from Obama's budget proposal

GMT 20:28 2015 Tuesday ,03 February

Arab Today, arab today State Department, USAID seeking $50.3bn from Obama's budget proposal

Obama's budget proposal
Washington - KUNA

The US State Department and US Agency for International Development (USAID) are seeking USD 50.3 billion from President Barack Obama's USD 4 trillion budget proposal released on Monday.
"This will allow us to address ongoing and emerging national security challenges, carry out our global diplomatic and development mission, advance the President's signature policy and development initiatives, honor our security commitments to allies and partners, and carry out conflict prevention, nonproliferation, and peacekeeping activities around the world," said Deputy Secretary Heather Higginbottom during a press briefing.
Within the budget request the State Department plans to use USD 3.5 billion, "to strengthen regional partners, counter ISIL, provide humanitarian assistance, and strengthen Syria's moderate opposition to advance the conditions for a negotiated political transition," noted a release from the State Department and USAID.
In addition to this foreign assistance funding, the budget includes USD 1.1 billion to support diplomatic engagement with Iraq to sustain the strategic partnership and to advance American interests.
The largest allocation noted in the release is USD 5.4 billion for, "International Organizations and peacekeeping missions to share global security responsibilities with other nations and respond to new peacekeeping requirements." This is trailed by USD 4.8 billion to, "support security requirements and overseas infrastructure to support the people, infrastructure, and programs that enable U.S. operations and relations with foreign governments." The budget request includes USD 22.3 billion that USAID will "manage or partly manage," noted USAID Administrator Raj Shah in the same press briefing.
"Over the last years we have refocused our investments to make sure that we're doing our work in a way where, over time, our aid and assistance is no longer necessary, where self-sufficiency can replace the need for outside assistance," he highlighted.
Since 2010, USAID missions have reduced the number of programs and program areas from nearly 800 in total to just over 500 today.
Other programs that the State Department and USAID mention include funding to address the cause of migration from Central America, investment into clean energy, counter Russian pressure by providing support to Ukraine, and advance commitments to global health and "creating an AIDS-free generation."

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