WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would slash nearly a third in funding for diplomacy and foreign aid including global health and food aid, peacekeeping and other forms of non-military foreign involvement.
If passed, the steep funding cuts in the plan released on Tuesday would mean much less non-military US government engagement abroad as the administration implements Trump’s “America First” worldview.
The budget plan may face rough sledding in Congress, where both Republicans and Democrats have said they do not support such drastic cuts to US diplomacy and foreign aid.
“This budget reflects a commitment to ensure every tax dollar spent is aligned with mission-critical objectives,” said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a statement.
Trump’s budget would cut US funding for global health programs including efforts focusing on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by 24 per cent, to about $6.5 billion for 2018.
“Some programs were eliminated but every effort was made to ensure that the most critical priorities are maintained,” the State Department’s budget request stated.