June 12, 2024

President Biden’s 2024 budget proposal and Africa

President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken participate in the U.S.-Africa Summit Leaders Session on partnering on the African Union’s Agenda 2063 in Washington, D.C., on December 15, 2022. [State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha
President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken participate in the U.S.-Africa Summit Leaders Session on partnering on the African Union’s Agenda 2063 in Washington, D.C., on December 15, 2022. [State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha

After President Joseph R. Biden Jr’s 2024 budget announcement on Thursday, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said that the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) were “leading extraordinary global efforts in 2023 to advance our vision of a free, open, secure, and prosperous world and to deliver on the issues that matter most to the lives and livelihoods of Americans.”

He said that President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget request, including $63.1 billion for the Department and USAID, “will make it possible for us to continue to promote U.S. national interests, lead the world in tackling global challenges, and continue support for the people of Ukraine.”

He added, “In response to these unprecedented and extraordinary times, the Request includes mandatory and discretionary resources to out-compete the People’s Republic of China (PRC), strengthen the U.S. role in the Indo-Pacific, and advance American prosperity globally through new investments.

“In all that we do, we will continue to bring to bear all the tools of U.S. diplomacy and development to rally our allies and partners to work alongside us in addressing these issues. Because when we mobilize those who share our interests and values – in governments and multilateral institutions, the private sector, philanthropy, and civil society – we are in a stronger position to ensure our foreign policy delivers for the American people and people around the world. We will spearhead international efforts to bolster economic, energy, food, and health security, mitigate the climate crisis and address irregular migration – global challenges that increasingly affect Americans at home. Achieving these goals also requires us to strengthen our diverse global workforce.

“Diplomacy and development assistance are the tools that allow us to address these globally complex issues, and we at the Department – with our partners at USAID – will strategically implement this funding to improve outcomes for all Americans and our global partners.”

The Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development Samantha Power wrote in a statement that “The President’s budget request for the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Department of State includes $32 billion for USAID fully- and partially-managed accounts – money that will help equip the Agency to respond to complex emergencies, invest in lasting food security, address rising inequality, and promote equitable economic growth and inclusive development.”

She wrote, “As Putin’s unprovoked assault on Ukraine drags into its second year, USAID will continue to provide emergency supplies like food, clean water, and power generators to communities, support Ukrainian businesses, and fund human rights organizations documenting Putin’s war crimes. As Putin’s invasion and climate change further exacerbate the global food crisis, we will continue to help smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa resist drought, providing seeds, fertilizer, and climate-resilient technology and farming techniques. And as democracy remains under attack around the world, the Budget will enable USAID to further help communities fight for their unalienable rights – helping build transparent institutions free of corruption; bringing women, young people, and historically marginalized communities to the polls; and training journalists to counter hate speech and discrimination around the world.

“In these extraordinary times, the FY 2024 President’s Budget requests both mandatory and discretionary resources to out-compete China, strengthen the U.S. role in the Indo-Pacific, and advance American prosperity globally through new investments.

“As one of the core pillars of American leadership and power, our global development efforts work in tandem with defense and diplomacy to advance our interests and values abroad. But in a world that is increasingly interconnected – where viruses can cross oceans, regional wars have ripple effects, and economic collapse in one country can devastate another – this work is also critical to promoting the welfare and dignity of the American people. It is in America’s best interest to help feed the world, to help protect fellow democracies, to advocate for the dignity of all people – not only to reflect an America that is generous, compassionate, and moral, but also to protect the safety and prosperity of the American people.

“The FY 2024 Budget Request reflects the importance of our work to the Biden-Harris Administration’s objectives – and the resources that are needed to benefit communities abroad as well as right here at home.

The Budget makes critical, targeted investments that will promote greater prosperity and economic growth for the American people and for our partners and allies for decades to come. At USAID and the State Department, the Budget will:

  • Sustains U.S. Leadership in Humanitarian Assistance and Food Security. To respond to the unprecedented global levels of humanitarian need, the Budget requests more than $10.5 billion in humanitarian assistance ($6.5 billion through USAID-administered accounts) to respond to an average of 75 crises annually in more than 65 countries, including Ukraine and Syria, new and emerging crises, and natural disasters. The Budget also requests $1.11 billion for USAID-managed Feed the Future programs to address the global food crises resulting from Putin’s unprovoked war on Ukraine and the ongoing impacts of climate change.
  • Prioritize Developing Economies and Strengthening Democracies. To support economic resilience and private sector engagement, the Budget requests $60 million for the new Enterprises for Development, Growth, and Empowerment (EDGE) Fund, an innovative effort to unlock and unleash outsized private sector impacts on global development challenges. The Budget also requests funding for “Bright Spot” countries experiencing promising and recent democratic openings. To continue our work to combat democratic backsliding and rampant authoritarianism, the Budget requests $2.8 billion in USAID fully-or-partially managed accounts to foster democratic governance, counter corruption, and deliver on our commitments under the Summit for Democracy and the Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal.
  • Out-Compete China. To build economic systems durable against PRC manipulation, the Budget requests $4.0 billion over five years in mandatory funding to invest in strategic, high-quality, “hard” international infrastructure globally, and to boost connectivity, improve supply chains, and ensure resilient economic growth and more transparent, rules-based economic systems in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Invest in the Indo-Pacific Region and Counter Malign Influence. This funding is in addition to the Budget’s request of $3.2 billion for the Indo-Pacific and $400 million for the State-USAID Countering PRC Influence Fund that will be used to fund a wide variety of new programming worldwide to resist the PRC government’s malign authoritarian model while advancing our own affirmative global development agenda.
  • Champion Global Health and Global Health Security. To reaffirm the historic U.S. global health leadership role, the Budget requests $10.9 billion, of which $4.1 billion is for USAID-managed accounts, to combat infectious diseases, prevent child and maternal deaths, bolster nutrition, control the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and provide dedicated funding to support and protect the global health workforce through the President’s Global Health Worker Initiative. Funding will support strengthening health systems and global health security to better prevent, detect, and respond to future infectious disease outbreaks.
  • Revitalize the USAID Workforce. We are only able to do this work with a strong workforce. In light of this, the Budget includes $2.3 billion to invest in a direct hire workforce and operations that advances critical foreign assistance programs and ensures accountability of U.S. taxpayer dollars.

Meanwhile, USAID Deputy Administrator Isobel Coleman led the United States delegation to the 5th United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC5) in Doha, Qatar, which took place from March 5-9.

Deputy Spokesperson Shejal Pulivarti said that the visit “reaffirmed the United States’ strong partnership with LDCs and support for the Sustainable Development Goals. The Deputy Administrator also met with high-level delegates from host nation Qatar and from Egypt, and Timor Leste, as well as Qatar-based delegations working on Afghanistan.”

Pulivarti wrote, “At the LDC5, Deputy Administrator Coleman delivered the U.S. National Statement and spoke on the panel of the High-Level Thematic Roundtable on Addressing Climate Change and Supporting the Environment. She also gave opening remarks at the U.S.-hosted side event on Financing and Programs to Promote Food Security and Resilience. Throughout the conference, the Deputy Administrator highlighted new and ongoing U.S. commitments to help LDCs reach their full potential. Since the LDC4 conference in 2011, the U.S. has provided over $100 billion in development assistance to LDCs.

“During her visit, the Deputy Administrator met with Qatari Ambassador to the United Nations Alya bint Ahmed Al Thani and thanked the Government of Qatar for hosting the once-a-decade LDC conference. Deputy Administrator Coleman expressed appreciation for the Government of Qatar’s ongoing assistance for U.S. efforts to support the people of Afghanistan, including helping relocate our Afghan colleagues and hosting the USAID/ Afghanistan staff. In a meeting with Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat, the Deputy Administrator underscored USAID’s strategic partnership with Egypt to pursue shared development goals, particularly on climate change adaptation and mitigation.

“Deputy Administrator Coleman met with Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta and shared USAID’s commitment to strengthen our partnership in advancing shared democratic values and development priorities, including further engagement on nutrition and advancement toward Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) accession. They also discussed the need for a peaceful and democratic resolution of the crisis in Burma.

“While in Doha, Deputy Administrator Coleman hosted a high-level dinner for Qatar-based delegations working on Afghanistan. They discussed implications of the Taliban’s destabilizing actions in Afghanistan — in particular its devastating rollback of women’s rights which is deepening Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis.”

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