The Trump administration is proposing to sever the funding line to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) office in Sri Lanka in 2018 under federal budget cuts aiming to fulfill promises of cutting US donations for humanitarian projects and putting ‘America First’.
The US State Department documents published by the Foreign Policy publication showed that Sri Lanka would lose the entire US$ 38 million in funding under the USAID Economic Support Fund.
This cut is a part of US President Donald Trump’s plans to reduce the US State Department and USAID budgets by around 30 percent, and to combine the two institutions.
USAID Sri Lanka Mission Director Dr. Andrew Sisson was unavailable for comment.
USAID provided US$ 22 million in assistance to Sri Lanka in 2015, and has provided over US$ 600 million in assistance to Sri Lanka
Although past USAID assistance focus had been on tsunami relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction and prevention of conflict, recent efforts have been focusing more good governance and economic development.
Meanwhile, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, an independent US government agency providing foreign aid for countries committed to good governance practices, appears to have escaped President Trump’s wrath so far.
MCC last year pledged to provide US$ 792 million to Sri Lanka, amid efforts by China and India to throw billions of dollars of investments at Sri Lanka in order to gain greater influence.