2013 USAID budget revised for sequestration out 'shortly'

U.S. Agency for International Development Rajiv Shah meets with dislaced families in Morroa, Sucre in northern Colombia. Photo by: USAID / CC BY-NC

The effects of sequestration on the United States Agency for International Development’s budget for this year will be known “shortly,” after the agency missed the April 27 deadline for sending a revised budget document to Congress.

“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.

Anticipated cuts

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.

USAID plans to handle about $20.4 billion in development and humanitarian programs in fiscal 2014.

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About the author

  • Carlos Santamaria

    Carlos is a former associate editor for breaking news in Devex's Manila-based news team. He joined Devex after a decade working for international wire services Reuters, AP, Xinhua, EFE ,and Philippine social news network Rappler in Madrid, Beijing, Manila, New York, and Bangkok. During that time, he also covered natural disasters on the ground in Myanmar and Japan.

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