Economic Support Fund

$4.68 billion*

Minimum Requirement for American Leadership

The Economic Support Fund is the main account to provide development assistance to fragile and conflict-affected states with the goal of meeting short- and long-term political and economic needs.

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Justification for Funding

  • The Economic Support Fund (ESF) uses economic assistance to advance U.S. political and strategic interests. Historically, funds under the ESF account are more flexible than funds used under Development Assistance, and this flexibility allows the U.S. government to respond more easily to developments, such as political instability or economic crises, to support U.S. interests abroad.
  • ESF funds help communities living in the poorest, most violent, and most vulnerable places in the world access programs supporting the rule of law, strengthening civil society participation, increasing the role of the private sector, and making governments more accountable.

Cost of Cuts Below $4.68 Billion

President and Congress Budget Comparison

       Congressional Budget   

       President's Budget Request (Base + OCO)

  • Food Insecurity: ESF funds programs that address the root causes of hunger, poverty, and food crises by investing in agricultural development and nutrition in Feed the Future focus countries and Feed the Future aligned countries
  • Instability: ESF funds provide support for democracy, rights, and governance, including assistance to civil society actors who seek freedoms and rights that align with U.S. morals and principles.
  • Global Health: ESF funds provide important support for a number of global health programs including maternal and child health, polio, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and nutrition.


$4.68 billion

Opportunity to Catalyze American Leadership


Justification for Full Funding

  • ESF provides families living in countries like Liberia, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Nepal with a number of vital services such as increasing access to basic education, growing nutritious food, strengthening health systems, promoting economic development and entrepreneurship, and supporting good governance.
  • Funds are used for enterprise, education, housing, health care, and alleviating household shocks, such as those from macroeconomic instability or periodic droughts, and other climate-related issues. The recommended appropriation level would also provide additional funding for worthwhile programming, such as preventing violent extremism, trade capacity-building, technology, innovation, and evaluation.

Impact of Full Funding

Repairing Communities
The Global Transitional Justice Fund relies on ESF funds to restore the relationship between citizens and the formerly abusive state institutions and provide accountability for human rights violations and atrocities.

  • Increased funding levels allow the U.S. to take the necessary steps to address global challenges, including increasing levels of violence that drive growing levels of human displacement and roll back development gains.

*Enacted FY17 Appropriation

For more information, please contact: Kevin Rachlin,

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