The President’s FY 2015 budget request for the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is $46.2 billion. The base of $40.3 billion is consistent with last year’s budget, to be used for global and diplomatic missions, advance policy and initiatives, honor commitments to allies, execute peacekeeping activities, and respond to humanitarian crises. The additional $5.9 billion requested is for Overseas Contingency Operations. The OCO budget will be used to fund key programs in Iraq and Pakistan, to sustain gains in Afghanistan, and to respond to the crisis in Syria and the surrounding region.
There have been several increases in areas of the budget, along with cuts. The total State Department and USAID budget has decreased by a little over $590 million since FY2014. State Department operations and related programs have increased by a total of over $946 million, while foreign operations have decreased by over $2.05 billion. The increased State operations budget includes increases in State programs, diplomatic and consular programs, and international organizations, such as the U.N.. The proposed budget has made cuts in administration of foreign affairs, embassy security and construction, related programs, international commissions, international fisheries commission, broadcasting board of governors, and other programs.
Meanwhile, the foreign operations budget has included cuts in bilateral economic assistance, international security assistance, multilateral assistance, international financial institutions, and export and investment assistance. Increases in foreign operations include an increase of $90 million to independent agencies such as the Peace Corps, $200 million to USAID, and $3 million to related international affairs accounts.
$19.2 billion of the budget has been requested for international diplomacy and domestic security expenditures. This includes international alliances and reforms, peacekeeping missions, and counterterrorism. The Security portion of the budget request has been broken down by area and policy focus:
- Middle East andNorth Africa ($7.0 billion)
- Provide support for Israel and Jordan.
- Help transitional countries, like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.
- Provide support and aid to Syrian people and address regional impact of Syrian conflict.
- Promote successful transitions and reforms in the region.
- East Asia and Pacific ($1.4 billion)
- Strengthen alliances.
- Bolster the region’s security architecture.
- Focus on economic development issues, including energy and environment.
- Fostering people-to-people exchange.
- Build the regional and bilateral partnerships in a more democratic Asia-Pacific.
- Afghanistan andPakistan ($3.6 billion)
- Protect national security interests and sustain important investments in stability, security, and development.
- Develop our relationship with Pakistan’s new civilian government.
- Sustain our diplomatic platform, security operations, and priority assistance programs in Afghanistan.
- International Organizations and Peacekeeping ($4.8 billion)
- Continue our engagement with important partners and multilateral organizations.
- Enhance global stability and prevent conflicts.
- Support critical UN and non-UN peacekeeping missions, including those in Somalia, Mali, and the Central African Republic.
- Introduce a new Peacekeeping Response Mechanism to enable the U.S. to respond to unanticipated and urgent peacekeeping needs.
- Security, Law Enforcement, Counterterrorism and Related Assistance ($1.3 billion)
- Reduce potential threats from terrorist activities.
- Illicit trafficking of all weapons, narcotics, humans, and wildlife.
- Strengthen security forces of key allies and coalitions partners.
- Build military-to-military partnerships.
- Reinforce the rule of law.
- Public Diplomacy and Education and Cultural Exchanges ($1.1 billion)
- Continue to counter violent extremism.
- Expand and strengthen people-to-people relationships
- Inform policy making.
- Deploy resources in strategic alignment with foreign policy priorities.
- Foster support for academic programs, professional and cultural exchanges, and continued growth for strategic partnerships.
Economy and Global Challenges
$14.67 billion of the budget has been requested for international and domestic economic interests and challenges. This includes needs such as increasing economic opportunities, development efforts in America and abroad, and promoting social and economic progress. The request has been broken down into programs and interests:
- Global Health Initiative ($8.1 billion)
- Strategy toward achieving an AIDS-free generation and ending preventable death.
- Build on previous GHI investments made, such as AIDS relief, Malaria initiative, maternal and child health, etc.
- Includes $1.35 billion in support of the President’s pledge to provide $1 for every $2 by other donors, with an additional $300 million available, if enacted.
- Feed the Future ($1.0 billion)
- Continue sustainable investments in agricultural development.
- Improve incomes and nutrition, promoting greater private sector investment.
- Aims to reduce long-term vulnerability to food insecurity, especially in the Horn and the Sahel.
- Accelerate progress in focus countries.
- Global Climate Change Initiative ($506.3 million)
- Foster low-carbon growth, promotes sustainable and resilient societies, and reduces emissions from deforestation.
- Continue collaborative efforts to slow, stop, and reverse greenhouse gas emissions.
- Promote sustainable economic growth, increases energy security, and helps nations deliver greater prosperity.
- Incentivize private sector investment.
- Humanitarian Assistance ($4.8 billion)
- Provide intervention to people affected by conflict or natural disasters.
- $1.1 billion to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
- Requests $1.4 billion in P.L. 480 Title II Food Aid to support reforms within the Agriculture bill.
- U.S. Global Development Lab ($151.3 million)
- Invest in innovative approaches to sourcing and scaling solutions to development challenges.
- Build USAID’s Global Development Lab to yield solutions faster and cheaper.
- Accelerate progress toward development goals.
- International Commissions ($116 million)
- Help navigate foreign regulations, settle disputes, and compete for foreign government and private contract.
- Support collaborative management of water resources along U.S. borders.
- Contribute to the international management of fish stocks.
Overhead and Operations
The remaining $14.6 billion of the budget has been requested for international diplomats and experts and for maintenance of facilities and services abroad.
- State Operations Diplomatic and Consular Programs ($5.4 billion)
- Support ongoing operations for diplomatic personnel and programs abroad.
- Worldwide Security Protection and Upgrades ($4.6 billion)
- Continue security protection operations and enhancements.
- USAID Operating Expenses ($1.4 billion)
- Maintain the significant improvements in procurement, local capacity building, and innovation of USAID Forward.
- Maintain core operations.
- Allow USAID to sustain staffing levels.
- Consular Affairs and Border Security Program ($3.2 billion)
- Provide secure travel processes to strengthen borders.
- Strengthen our economy and promote America’s tourism economy.
- Provides assistance to American citizens abroad.