While the Trump administration’s budget request proposes cuts across the board, the foreign aid budget is among the top casualties, facing a 32 percent reduction, which would take it back to funding levels not seen since the before the 9/11 attacks.
However, uncertainty remains over the extent to which these cuts will be passed by Congress, which has final say over what federal funding looks like in the next fiscal year, starting Oct. 1, 2017, as Devex reported.
Development professionals are also left wondering what the draft budget numbers could mean for the structure and staffing of the United States Agency for International Development and the U.S. State Department.
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Devex Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar spoke to Washington insider and Kyle House Group Founding Partner Porter Delaney for an in-depth look at what's next for the budget process and what development professionals can do to prepare for it.
During the hour-long webinar, Delaney covered a range of topics, including the ins and outs of the budget reconciliation process, which he said would likely not be finalized until fall. He also said that while potential cuts to foreign assistance are very likely, the true figure will be closer to 5 to 10 percent.
The Kyle House Group expert said he thinks global health — beyond funding for the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR — will likely be protected and that the budget’s proposed cuts to food aid will not go through. Similarly, Delaney said he was fairly confident that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation will be preserved and may even have its funding expanded. However, the multilateral development banks and the Green Climate Fund are likely casualties, he said.
Delaney also discussed the current ongoing activities within USAID and the State Department regarding a potential merger, including a staff survey and the setting up of an independent task force to review efficiency options, as well as the new USAID administrator, Mark Green.
You can listen to the full webinar on “Preparing for Trump’s aid budget” above.