FY 2011 International Affairs Budget Request

This month, President Obama submitted his $3.8 trillion Fiscal Year 2011 Budget request to Congress. Representing just 1.4% of the total FY 2011 Budget, the International Affairs Budget request stands at $58.5 billion. This request would be a $6.1 billion increase over the enacted International Affairs Budget of FY 2010.  While this budget request reflects an overall increase, not all programs and accounts would receive more funding.

Some of the programs and accounts that would receive increased funding from FY 2010 levels include Global Health and Child Survival ($680 million), Climate Investment Funds ($260 million), the Millennium Challenge Corporation ($170 million), the Economic Support Fund ($1.47 billion), and the Peace Corps ($46 million). Most notable among these is the $1.47 billion increase for the Economic Support Fund, all of which going to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Several programs have been slated for cuts from FY 2010 funding levels, including the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria ($50 million); Migration and Refugee Assistance ($80 million); and non-UN Peacekeeping Operations ($46 million). The U.S. contributions to International Organizations and Programs would also receive a cut, specifically reducing contributions to the UNDP ($26 million), UNICEF ($4 million), and UNFPA ($5 million).

The FY 2011 International Affairs Budget request also represents a shift in the U.S. Government’s funding priorities for foreign aid. In an attempt to shift focus from a military endeavor to a civilian-led, humanitarian mission, this budget request calls for a $3.6 billion increase for the three Frontline States, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Apart from these Frontline States, three other areas of foreign aid receive priority in the FY 2011 Budget: food security, health, and climate change. The Budget would devote $1.4 billion to fight climate change, which is divided into the three pillars of Adaptation ($334 million), Clean Energy ($710 million), and Sustainable Landscapes ($347 million).  The U.S. has also committed to provide a share of a $30 billion global financing operation for adaptation and mitigation over the next three years, which is a major part of the Copenhagen Accord agreed to in December.  It is not clear what budget resources will be used to meet this commitment.

Over the next three years, the U.S. has committed to providing $3.5 billion to food security programs as part of an attempt to drastically reduce hunger worldwide. This budget would also mark the introduction of the Global Health Initiative, focused on fighting the spread of infectious diseases, increased nutrition and family planning services, as well as decreasing child and maternal mortality rates. To this end, the U.S. would invest $63 billion over the next six years.

For a more complete and in depth analysis of the Fiscal Year 2011 International Affairs Budget request, please visit the US Global Leadership Coalition, and Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network.