“The U.S. Department of State and USAID are coordinating on a joint foreign assistance sequestration report that we plan to submit shortly,” USAID spokesman Kamyl Bazbaz told Devex.
The revised budget reflecting sequestration cuts will be analyzed by the House Appropriations Committee, which is already reviewing the agency’s budget proposal for fiscal 2014. The panel had asked all government agencies to file their proposals by April 27, but many missed the deadline.
Bazbaz added that the 2013 document “will reflect our revised fiscal year 2013 budget foreign assistance budget by account, adjusted for sequestration.”
Until the revised budget is submitted, USAID staff as well as implementers remain largely in the dark as to where the highly anticipated 5 percent cuts will fall, and at the very least procurement delays are expected.
Devex reported earlier this week that USAID plans to transition 14 of its missions and trim down programs with little impact. Those missions will be downgraded into offices, senior development advisors or nonpresence countries.
At the same time, USAID wants to become more visible in countries where it previously had little or no presence, like Myanmar, for instance.
Myanmar and countries under the Partnership for Growth initiative — El Salvador, Ghana, the Philippines and Tanzania — have emerged as the biggest winners under U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2014 foreign aid budget, according to data compiled by Devex. The front-line states of Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan as well as South Africa and South Sudan will, on the other hand, receive less support than before from USAID.
The proposed expansion in Asia, Africa and Middle East while cutting back on Europe and Eurasia reflects the agency’s changing geographic priority and greater selectivity amid a constrained budget environment.
As associate editor for breaking news, Carlos Santamaria supervises Devex's Manila-based news team and the creation of our Newswire, the industry-leading daily newsletter. Carlos joined Devex after a decade working for international wire services Reuters, AP, Xinhua and EFE as well as Philippine news site Rappler. Born and raised in Spain but educated in the United States, Carlos dropped out of business school to become a journalist, first reporting on sports and national politics in Madrid and later on international affairs in Beijing, Manila and Bangkok. During that time, he also covered natural disasters on the ground in Myanmar and Japan.