US aid cuts become less than feared

Jan 05, 2018

No country provides as much assistance as the United States. About a quarter of all public assistance provided from rich countries to developing countries comes from the US state budget. That is why much is at stake when negotiations on the US budget for 2018 are now entering an end phase.

In its budget proposal, which was tabled already in March last year, President Donald Trump would cut 28 percent of the total costs of assistance and foreign service. If the cuts were evenly distributed, it could mean a reduction in US aid on the size of two Norwegian aid budgets.

The United States elected assembly, Congress, after all, judges to bury Trump's cuts. There is a consensus across party conflicts that the United States will put about as much assistance to 2018 as in 2017.

Cautious optimist for the 2018 budget

Other parts of the assistance may be more vulnerable to savings than humanitarian aid. However, Sam Worthington, director of the InterAction umbrella organization, confirms the impression that there is a cross-policy agreement to avoid major cuts in US aid.

InterAction deliberately works to get as good a budget as possible.

"We are cautious optimists, based on the experience of 2017, that we will avoid the extreme cuts that are proposed," said Worthington to Bistandsaktuelt.

Worthington claims that the United States total aid in 2018 will be on par with 2017, or possibly slightly lower.

InterAction has 220 NGOs as members or partners. The organizations have a total turnover of 127 billion. This corresponds to three and a half Norwegian aid budget.

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*This article was orginially published in Norwegian.