The Bush administration will ask Congress for USD 3.9 billion over the next seven years to help Colombia fight illegal drugs and plans to boost funding for social programs, a State Department official has said. Under the plan, USD 626 million would be earmarked for this year. The Bush administration’s strategy is to gradually reduce US funding for drug eradication in the coming years and increase “soft” aid to build schools and roads, for example. (Reuters)

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