August 15, 2023

International Affairs Budget Update

On Thursday, August 10th, the Administration sent a $40.1 billion emergency supplemental request to Congress, which includes $11.6 billion for the International Affairs Budget. The full request includes:

  • Ukraine Assistance: $20.5 billion to bolster Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s invasion and support global food security needs, including $13.14 billion for military and security assistance through the Pentagon and $7.35 billion for security, economic, and humanitarian assistance through the International Affairs Budget.
  • Domestic Disaster Response: $12 billion to support FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund.
  • Border Control and Migration: $3.6 billion for border control and migration programs, including more than $800 million for diplomatic and aid programs through the International Affairs Budget to reduce irregular migration in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Countering China and Russia: $3.5 billion for multilateral programs and new authorities to strengthen U.S. leadership and counter Chinese and Russian global influence, particularly in the developing world (which has expanded since the Ukraine war) through the International Affairs Budget.

Please see USGLC President and CEO Liz Schrayer’s statement in support of the global economic and humanitarian assistance included in the emergency supplemental request.

Ukraine Assistance
The emergency supplemental request continues to prioritize assistance to Ukraine through both the Defense Department and the State Department (and related agencies) at roughly the same ratios as the past emergency supplementals. In addition to the $13.14 billion request for military assistance, the proposal requests $7.35 billion for Ukraine through International Affairs Budget:

  • Economic Assistance: A total of $4.1 billion was requested, including $3.4 billion for the Economic Support Fund (ESF) to provide direct budget support for Ukraine to ensure it can continue to respond to “critical needs” and to support global food security initiatives. This request would continue this support at the current level for an additional three months. An additional $779 million is requested for Assistance for Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia account to support “urgent recovery efforts” including “key energy sector development needs” ahead of the coming winter.
  • Humanitarian and Refugee Assistance: A total of $2 billion was requested, including $1.3 billion for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account to “address humanitarian needs in Ukraine and countries impacted by the situation in Ukraine” including resources for “emergency food assistance” following Russia’s suspension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The request also includes $700 million for Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) to help address the needs of more than 11 million people displaced in the region, alongside “increased overseas humanitarian requirements.”
  • Security Assistance: A total of $1.2 billion was requested, including $1 billion for Foreign Military Financing (FMF) to bolster military capabilities and to “incentivize donations to Ukraine from partners and allies.” The request also includes $94 million for Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining, and Related Programs (NADR) and $63 million for International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE). The request language also allows for some funding under FMF to provide assistance to Taiwan.

Countering China and Russia

A total of $3.5 billion was requested in emergency funding for several new accounts and innovative multilateral programs to leverage billions more dollars in global resources and to bolster America’s ability to counter China and Russia’s actions in the developing world, including state-aligned groups like Wagner.

  • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development: The supplemental requests $1.25 billion in multilateral contributions for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), which would leverage up to $25 billion in lending to low- and middle-income countries to “build new infrastructure and supply chains” and break “reliance on the People’s Republic of China.”
  • International Infrastructure Fund: The request includes $1 billion for this proposed new account at the State Department to provide “credible, reliable alternatives to out-compete China” and expand “markets and opportunities for U.S. businesses.” The request would allow transfer authority to agencies such as the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the Development Finance Corporation.
  • International Development Association: With diminishing global resources to combat fragility and poverty in low-income countries due to the war in Ukraine, the proposal requests $1 billion in multilateral assistance for the International Development Association to help address “increased food insecurity and destabilizing fragility and conflict.”
  • International Monetary Fund Trust Funds: While not requesting any new resources, the request would authorize previous appropriations (estimated at $20 million) to newly leverage up to $21 billion in IMF resources to combat poverty, promote stability, and improve energy security and resilience.
  • Countering Russian Malign Actors in Africa Fund: The request includes $200 million for a proposed new account to counter the influence of the Wagner Group, other paramilitary organizations, and associated entities acting in Africa on behalf of or in support of Russia. 

Western Hemisphere Migration

  • Migration and Refugee Assistance: A total of $532 million was requested to help “forcibly displaced migrants” to resettle in Western Hemisphere countries.
  • Economic Assistance: A total of $250 million was requested for the Economic Support Fund to help reduce irregular migration to provide “migrant integration support to target communities” in the region, and to support cooperation with partner countries hosting migrants.

Most Congressional reaction to the Administration’s request has been relatively quiet, as Members are out for the August recess. While there are the few hardliners from the House Freedom Caucus that quickly voiced opposition of further assistance to Ukraine, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and other long-time backers of Ukraine continue to redouble their support for the U.S. partner and ally. We can expect greater clarity on the supplemental request once Congress returns to Washington after Labor Day with a full appropriations docket ahead of the end of the fiscal year on September 30th.

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition ( is a broad-based influential network of 500 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic, military, and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.