Trump wants to slash aid to SL by 92% – Senate Committee opposes proposal

Trump wants to slash aid to SL by 92% – Senate Committee opposes proposal

By Lahiru Fernando

Sep 13, 2017 | 10:30 pm

Sri Lanka receives an annual aid supply from the United States of America. The aid amounts up to around $43 million (USD).

The aid breakdown is as follows;

  • $35 million – Economic Support fund
  • $6.8 million – Non-proliferation and anti-terrorism
  • $500,000 – Foreign military financing
  • $500,000 – Training of military personnel

However, the administration of President Donald Trump has proposed to slash US aid to Sri Lanka by a staggering 92%.

For the fiscal year 2018, the Trump Administration has requested USD 3.4 million in foreign assistance for Sri Lanka.

A ray of hope

The good news is that the US Senate Appropriations Committee has backed Sri Lanka and opposed the Trump administration’s proposal.

“Given the geo-strategic importance of the country, the Committee does not support the President’s budget request for Sri Lanka, which proposed a 92 per cent reduction in assistance from the prior fiscal year,” said the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The Senate Committee in its report said that Sri Lanka is strategically positioned along key shipping lanes and emerging from decades of conflict.

Congressman Ted Yoho, Chairman of House Foreign Affairs Sub Committee on Asia and the Pacific, said:

“Even at their height in 2016, US assistance commitments to Sri Lanka were about 42.5 million, and that’s a bit less than half the cost of a single F-35 fighter jet. That seems like a reasonable investment to gain a friend in one of the world’s most critical sea lanes,”

“I am concerned that by changing course so drastically, we want to make sure that we are not throwing away the investments we have already made in Sri Lanka, leaving a gap in the democracy and governance programs Sri Lanka badly needs, and potentially forcing the closure of our USAID mission”.

Aid   Donald Trump   Senate Committee   sri lanka   United States