US President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda includes funding for Sri Lanka in 2018, US State Department documents said. However Trump has proposed a massive budgetary cut in US financial assistance to Sri Lanka which has come down from USD 42.5 million in 2016 to a mere USD 3.3 million in 2018. Most of the funding (USD 2.8 million) would go towards the peace and security sector which includes combating weapons of mass destruction, and stabilization operations and security sector reform. Education accounts for another half a million USD, according to reports.
Trump, on Tuesday requested $37.6 billion for the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) budget in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said the budget request reflects the President’s “America First” agenda that prioritizes the well-being of Americans, bolsters U.S. national security, secures our borders, and advances U.S. economic interests.
“The budget is responsive to the realities of the world in the 21st century, and ensures that the State Department and USAID can quickly adapt to an ever-changing international environment. Activities and programs supported in this budget will support our effort to defeat ISIS and other terrorist organizations and combat illegal migration and trafficking. This budget will also support our efforts to combat corruption and address threats to good governance, which helps level the playing field for American workers and businesses,” Tillerson said.
Courtesy of Colombo Gazette