Azerbaijan May Entirely Lose USAID Funding

The United States are significantly reducing foreign aid to developing countries through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), reports Foreign Policy referencing a recently-released 15-page draft budget of the State Department.

Back in March the US presidential administration promised to reduce aid to developing countries by more than a third, but the statement remained vague. Now the document explains that foreign aid will be redistributed to other goals, mostly concerning national security.

The draft budget proposes reducing aid to Ukraine by 68.8% – from $570 to $177.8 million. Assistance to Tajikistan is proposed to be cut by 47.6% to 17 million, to Moldova – by 47.4% (to $ 16 million). Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, as well as Vietnam and Cuba may completely lose financial assistance.

The plans to reduce aid will begin implementation in the 2018 financial year.

Note that according to the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Robert Sekuta, the United States over the course of the past 25 years has provided financial assistance to Azerbaijan to the amount of $1.3 billion.

Sekuta says the majority of this money was used to relieve those suffering from armed conflict and those wishing to open new businesses. Moreover, such aid allowed for the education of 6,000 Azerbaijanis in the US under various exchange problems.

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