February 13, 2012
Full USGLC Analysis
USGLC Commends the President’s FY13 International Affairs Budget as Strong and Strategic
The USGLC applauds the Administration’s FY 2013 International Affairs Budget request that provides the resources necessary to support the critical tools of development and diplomacy and meet America’s national security requirements. At a time of economic challenges when our political leaders are facing difficult choices, the President recognized that America cannot afford to withdraw from an increasingly challenging and turbulent world.
The request makes a strong statement on the importance of how the International Affairs Budget supports our national security and economic interests. Military leaders and national security experts have consistently called for prioritizing our investments in the State Department, USAID, and other civilian-led efforts. With the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, the need to support democracy and stability in the Arab Awakening countries, and the humanitarian crises like the famine in the Horn of Africa, now is not the time to diminish America’s engagement in the world.
At a time of economic uncertainty, the International Affairs Budget is also an important part of getting America back to work. As one in five American jobs depend on trade and nearly half of U.S. exports go to developing countries, this funding is essential to strengthening the nation’s economy and creating new markets for U.S. goods and services.
While the overall International Affairs Budget makes a strong statement in support of our national security and economic interests, proposed reductions, particularly regarding global health, humanitarian and refugee assistance, raise concerns. It will be important for the Administration to clarify how reduced resources for these activities can still achieve the intended goals.
FY13 International Affairs Budget Request Increases Slightly
The Administration’s $56.2 billion International Affairs Budget request represents a 2.4% ($1.3 billion) increase above enacted FY12 levels. Much of the increase ($1.02 billion) falls in two new areas: 1.) the creation of an “Incentive Fund” dedicated for needs and opportunities emerging from the Arab Spring and 2.) for Sudan debt reduction.
As in FY12, the International Affairs Budget is divided into two components – base and Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). Traditional and continuing programs supporting diplomatic, foreign aid, and overseas investment make up the $48 billion “base” International Affairs Budget. This portion of the budget is subject to the caps on discretionary spending established for FY12-FY21 in the Budget Enforcement Act of 2011. The second component – the $8.2 billion OCO account — includes extraordinary and temporary costs for State Department and USAID operations and assistance in the Frontline States of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. While the Defense Department has maintained over the past decade a separate OCO account for war spending, FY12 was the first time civilian resources related to the wars were placed in OCO. The OCO accounts do not fall within the spending caps created in last year’s Budget Enforcement Act. As military expenses decline with the withdrawal of U.S. forces, State Department and USAID responsibilities and authorities have expanded, resulting in the need for additional resources.
The FY13 budget request reflects a combined military-civilian OCO spending level that continues to decline, dropping 39%, from $159 billion in FY11, to $127 billion this year, to a projected $97 billion for FY13.
The FY13 request, however, proposes an important shift in the composition of what is funded in the OCO account compared with FY12 enacted. Last year, Congress expanded the scope of OCO, going beyond extraordinary expenses in the Frontline States to fund other global contingencies, including resources for the famine in the Horn of Africa, terrorist threats in Africa, and for responses to the Arab Spring. As it did in the FY12 request, the State Department is limiting its FY13 OCO budget to operations and aid in the Frontline States. As a result, the $8.2 billion OCO request falls $3 billion below FY12. While it was understandable for Congress to broaden the composition of OCO last year in order to avoid deep cuts to base programs, there is a longer term concern about eroding the base of the International Affairs budget. Specifically, as the OCO account continues to decline and perhaps disappears in a few years, any resources for base programs funded by OCO will need to move back to base spending, something that will be difficult given the tight budget caps that are in place.
About This Update
The USGLC will continue to update this analysis as additional information becomes available in the coming weeks. In the meantime, unless otherwise noted, budget comparisons are based on the FY13 request relative to the FY12 enacted levels for both base and OCO funding. Top-line amounts refer to the International Affairs Budget and will not align with figures the State Department and others may use when discussing the budget in terms of State/USAID funding, the State Department/Foreign Operations appropriation (which includes 97% of international affairs resources), or other points of reference to subsets of the full International Affairs Budget.
Included in this Update:
1. USGLC Statement
2. Highlights of Funding Increases and Decreases
3. Notable Program Funding Issues
4. Notable Country Aid Issues
5. Looking Ahead in 2012
6. Account-by-Account Detail of the FY13 Request
7. Additional Information and Resources
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition today commended the Obama Administration’s overall FY 2013 International Affairs Budget request for $56.2 billion (which includes $8.2 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations), and urged Congress to support these relatively small, but critical tools of diplomacy and development to meet our national security needs.
In this difficult economic environment, policymakers face tough choices and this budget request demonstrates a strong recognition that in today’s turbulent world, America cannot unilaterally disarm from our global engagement. At just over one percent of the federal budget, the International Affairs Budget request is a smart, strategic investment in protecting our security and ensuring we can compete in today’s global marketplace.
On the security side, military leaders and national security experts have consistently called for prioritizing our investments in the State Department, USAID, and other civilian-led efforts. With the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, the need to support democracy and stability in the Arab Awakening countries, and the humanitarian crises like the famine in the Horn of Africa, now is not the time to diminish America’s engagement in the world.
At a time of great economic turbulence, the International Affairs Budget is also an important part of getting America back to work. As one in five American jobs depends on trade and nearly half of U.S. exports go to developing countries, this funding is essential to strengthening the nation’s economy and creating new markets for U.S. goods and services.
While applauding the overall request, the proposed decreases in a few key areas of the budget request, particularly around global health and humanitarian and refugee assistance, raise concerns. More details are needed on how this budget will reach the important goals for these programs.
Click here to read the USGLC press release and other statements of support.
flat compared to FY12 amounts or grow slightly. Among the largest accounts that see little change in the FY13 submission are: Education and Cultural Exchanges, Contributions to International Organizations, USAID Operating Expenses, Development Assistance, Economic Support Fund, Peace Corps, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Foreign Military Financing, Multilateral Development Banks.
Highlights of Increases
In addition, increases are also proposed for State Department Diplomatic and Consular Programs (4%), Embassy Security (4.3%), Contribution to International Peacekeeping Activities (15%, although some of this is due to transfers for Somalia peacekeeping), and Complex Crisis Fund (25%).
Highlights of Decreases
Also reduced are the National Endowment for Democracy (12%), the U.S. Peace Institute (5%), the Asia, Inter-American, and African Foundations and the East-West Center (22%), Non-Proliferation, Anti-Terrorism, and Demining (11%), non-UN Peacekeeping Operations (35% – although some of the cut is due to a Somalia peacekeeping transfer), and International Organizations and Programs (6%), including reductions for UNDP and UNICEF.
Details concerning several of these programs are discussed below.
RESPONSE TO ARAB SPRING
The most significant new initiative within the FY13 International Affairs Budget request is creation of the $770 million Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Incentive Fund, $700 million for the new fund itself. Stimulated by the past year’s turbulence in the Middle East and North Africa and demands by citizens for democratic reforms, the Incentive Fund will provide additional tools to address short-term, unanticipated needs as well as longer term investments to promote institutional reform. In FY11, the State Department and USAID re-directed $135 million to address emerging requirements in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere. This year it will allocate $75 million this year in advance of launching the MENA Incentive Fund.
The Incentive Fund, or MENA-IF as referred to by the State Department, includes $70 million from two existing programs previously funded out of the Economic Support Fund: the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and the Middle East Regional program, about the same as for FY12. The MENA-IF is unallocated by country or purpose and available to support reform agendas across the region. It is anticipated that the MENA-IF’s focus will be on promoting good governance and active civil societies, as well as supporting inclusive market-based economic growth. It will adopt successful models from the MCC and Partnership for Growth for utilizing evidence-based data in selecting programs and countries and will support not only reform-minded governments, but also civil society and the private sector to ensure that reforms move forward. Aid could take the form of snap election assistance, humanitarian aid, human rights investigations, and security sector support. Over the longer-term, the Incentive Fund will require governments to make public commitments to reform and help strengthen civil society to hold their governments accountable.
FRONTLINE STATES: AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN, AND IRAQ
Proposed levels for the Frontline States in FY13 continue efforts that began a year ago to transition from a military-led mission to one with increasing civilian leadership as U.S. troops return home. These efforts began in FY11 in Iraq, scaled up in FY12, and expand to include Afghanistan in the FY13 request.
Overall, State operations and U.S. assistance to the three Frontline states would grow 6.6% ($733 million) under the FY13 request, reaching $11.8 billion. Of the total, $8.2 billion would come from the OCO account while $3.6 billion remains in the base budget. The latter are the costs the Administration believes are necessary for long-term operations and aid in the three countries after the wars have ended and U.S. troops are withdrawn.
The largest growth in FY13 comes for Afghanistan where the $4.6 billion request is 30% higher ($1.062 billion) than in FY12. By far the largest portion of that increase is for scaling up diplomatic capacity as the U.S. plans for a military withdrawal. Construction of new facilities and increased security requirements are part of the additional $884 million sought for State operations in FY13. Afghan foreign assistance would grow more modestly, rising by 8% ($178 million) for a total aid package of $2.5 billion.
After a major surge in civilian operational and aid resources in FY12 while U.S. forces returned home, the FY13 request for Iraq falls by 9% ($477 million). The largest decrease comes in State operations, down 23% ($839 million) from current amounts. Several decisions result in these savings: elimination of a diplomatic presence in Diyala, postponement of a presence in Mosul, changing security requirements in Kirkuk, and the absence of building costs incurred in FY12. It is unclear from early budget documents, however, what additional reduced costs might emerge from a down-sized American embassy in Baghdad. Recent press reports have shed light on initial plans to staff the largest U.S. embassy in the world with as many as 16,000 staff, 14,000 of which would be contractors. Last week, State Department officials announced a review of the Baghdad facility that would likely lead to a more “normalized” and smaller facility. On the assistance side of the Iraq costs, the request proposes a 21% ($362 million) increase. The bulk of U.S. aid (about 85%) will support a Police Development Program and training programs for the Iraqi military. Economic aid declines somewhat as expenses transition to the Iraqi government.
GLOBAL HEALTH ASSISTANCE DECLINES WITH SHIFTS IN FOCUS AND RESOURCES
The Global Health portion of the International Affairs Budget is likely to be one of the most closely scrutinized parts of the proposal, with many questions raised over the rationale for reducing spending and shifting resources among various activities. Although the $7.85 billion request remains the largest foreign aid account in FY13, it is 3.8% smaller than current levels. Nevertheless, the Administration believes the request, including increases for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria (Global Fund) and the GAVI Alliance, will be sufficient to maintain global health commitments and achieve its recent pledge to have six million people on AIDS treatment by the end of the year and to pursue its ultimate goal of an AIDS-free generation.
For a number of years, U.S. support for global health programs has been one of, if not the largest, portions of the foreign aid budget. The anchor of global health investments has been the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), launched by President Bush in FY04, with smaller amounts provided for malaria, tuberculosis, maternal and child health, and reproductive health, among others. Building on PEPFAR, President Obama established the Global Health Initiative (GHI) in 2009 with an ambitious funding target of $63 billion over six years and an increased focus on helping host governments strengthen health systems and transition to country-owned delivery platforms. Given the growing constraints on spending, it is certain that the GHI will not achieve its $63 billion funding level by FY14.
The proposed 3.8% reduction for FY13 is only the second time in at least ten years – the other being in 2008 – that a global health submission has been less than prior year funding. Many elements of global health spending decline under the FY13 request:
• HIV/AIDS, down 3.6% ($213 million)
• Malaria, down 4.8% ($31 million)
• TB, down 5.1% ($12 million)
• Maternal and Child Health, down 4.6% ($28 million)
• Pandemic Influenza, down 8.6% ($5 million)
• Neglected Tropical Diseases, down 24.7% ($22 million)
The exception is Family Planning/Reproductive Health which is up 1.1% ($6 million). In addition, the budget includes $39 million for the U.N. Population Fund, a $4 million increase.
Beyond disease funding levels, many questions will be raised over the decision to reduce direct funding to many PEPFAR focus countries and re-direct those resources to the Global Fund. With $1.05 billion appropriated for the Global Fund in each of FY11 and FY12, the United States was far off track to meet its $4 billion pledge by FY13. In response, the State Department plans to reprogram $250 million of PEPFAR funds in FY12, raising the amount for the Global Fund to $1.3 billion. The FY13 budget proposes $1.65 billion for the Global Fund, an amount $600 million higher than the original FY12 appropriation and that, if funded by Congress, would fulfill the $4 billion commitment. It appears that most of the additional resources for the Global Fund will come from PEPFAR focus countries. Collectively, funding levels for these 15 nations will fall by $239 million in FY12 and by an additional $450 million in FY13. Much attention will focus especially on Kenya and Ethiopia, where the FY13 request seeks a reduction of 41% and 79%, respectively.
The budget request is similar for meeting the GAVI pledge. The Administration plans to increase the FY12 $100 million GAVI appropriation to $130 million by re-directing funds from other maternal and child health activities and proposes $145 million for FY13. If enacted, the U.S. would need an additional $175 million for GAVI in FY14 to reach the goal.
While the Administration maintains it can deliver on its promise to have six million on AIDS treatment at the end of this year and on a host of other global health goals, more information will be necessary to make an informed assessment. Instead of only focusing on the amount of funding proposed and how it is distributed, the request may provide the opportunity to examine whether the impact of medical advances, lower drug costs, cost-sharing by partner governments, scaling up of existing financing mechanisms, along with other potential efficiencies, can meet the goals of prevention and treatment with fewer resources. An explanation is also needed regarding the rationale to make such dramatic cuts to AIDS programs in Kenya, Ethiopia, and a few others. The Administration has mentioned that existing funding pipelines from prior year appropriations may allow a temporary cutback in some places, but that information needs to be shared with Congress and global health advocates.
DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE PRIORITIZES FEED THE FUTURE
The Development Assistance (DA) account, through which USAID funds its agriculture, education, climate change, economic growth, democracy, water and sanitation, and other activities, is essentially flat-funded under the FY13 request. The $2.526 billion proposal is 0.2% ($6 million) higher than current funding. Few other details are currently available regarding specific sectors within the DA account. The Global Climate Change Initiative is cut by 2% ($12 million) overall, but it is unclear how much of those funds come from this account.
Feed the Future, a Presidential initiative to promote food security especially in countries that are implementing their own evidenced-based agriculture strategies, grows in FY13 to $1.2 billion, up 2% ($26 million) from current amounts. Included in this total is $134 million for a U.S. contribution to the World Bank’s Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP). In 2009, the United States pledged $475 million for GAFSP, and the FY13 request, plus a transfer of $14 million that is additional to the FY12 appropriation, will fully fund this commitment.
Feed the Future evolved from a U.S.-led global initiative at the L’Aquila G-8 summit in 2009 where leaders pledged over $20 billion to bolster food security in the developing world. The U.S. promised $3.5 billion, an amount that the Administration says will be met in FY12. In reaching that level, however, the Executive branch is attributing food security funds provided by the Millennium Challenge Corporation, something that has not been included in past estimates. Without MCC funding, the U.S. will have programmed $3.1 billion for Feed the Future through FY12.
HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE DECLINES
The United States responds to global emergencies resulting from conflict, natural disasters, and forced migration through four specific accounts: USAID’s International Disaster Assistance (IDA) and Food for Peace programs, and the State Department’s Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) and Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance. Combined, the FY13 request proposes a 6.9% ($308 million) cut to these programs. The largest reduction comes in the MRA account which falls 13% ($250 million). Last year, Congress funded $379 million for IDA and MRA out of the OCO account. In the FY13 request, the Administration has moved these funds back into the base budget, but not at the same levels as provided for FY12. Food aid is cut 5% ($66 million) while IDA falls 2% ($15 million).
Full funding for humanitarian relief needs in the base budget has been problematic for a number of years. Setting aside sufficient resources for conflict and natural disasters that may occur in the future is always difficult to estimate. During previous times, emergency supplemental appropriations were a common way to fund gaps in what has also been a top Congressional priority. The option of supplemental funding later in the year, however, has all but ended in these more constrained fiscal times. Humanitarian aid advocates, including those in Congress, are certain to question this reduced funding proposal. The Administration states that additional humanitarian aid could potentially come from the $770 MENA Incentive Fund, discussed earlier, for emergencies occurring in the region.
STATE/USAID OPERATING EXPENSES: IMPLEMENTING A REFORM AGENDA
Beginning in the last Administration and continuing the past three years, State Department and USAID leaders have put a premium on results driven diplomacy and development, implementing reforms to strengthen each agency’s capacity to meet the skill sets needed for 21st century challenges, and in the case of USAID, to rebuild a weakened and badly under-staffed organization. Many of the current reforms underway or proposed in the FY13 budget stem from the State/USAID Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), released in December 2010, and USAID Forward, an ambitious reform agenda that began to take shape in mid-2010.
The State Department, for FY13 requests an 8.2% ($539 million) increase in its base funding for Diplomatic and Consular Programs (excludes OCO resources for the frontline states). The budget would allow State to continue its “Diplomacy 3.0” initiative and hire 121 new Foreign and Civil Service staff, many of which would support the implementation of QDDR recommendations. The request also supports the Bureau of Energy Resources and elevates the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism to a Bureau status, both QDDR initiatives. These proposals continue efforts over the past decade to strengthen and re-direct State Department priorities, efforts that began under Secretary Powell and sustained by Secretary Rice through her Transformational Diplomacy agenda.
For USAID, the FY13 request includes relatively small but essential resources to advance the new reforms of USAID Forward, especially in the areas of monitoring and evaluation, procurement reform, innovation, and science and technology. The majority of funding for USAID Forward is drawn from the Development Assistance account, totaling $119 million in FY13, up 4% ($5 million) from current levels. A high priority is a more than doubling of resources ($14 million) to implement the agency’s new evaluation policy which has a goal of completing and publically posting 200 program evaluations by the end of this year. This is one of the key aspects of making USAID more transparent and strengthening its ability to know exactly whether its programs are achieving the intended results.
USAID Operating Expenses remain basically flat when compared with current funding. The Agency does not expect to hire in FY13 under its Development Leadership Initiative, a multi-year plan put in place in the Bush Administration with a goal to double the number of Foreign Service Officers at USAID. Thus far, 820 new staff have been under the DLI, achieving about 80% of the goal. Given on-going challenges to train and place existing DLIs, many inside and in Congress believe a break from more hiring is a good decision. USAID does plan, however, to hire 16 additional procurement officers to further advance that area of the reform agenda.
To off-set some of the additional costs for USAID Forward, the Agency plans to reduce by $33 million resources for the Development Grants Program and other activities that focus on NGO capacity building. The Administration believes it is addressing these same capacity building objectives under its procurement reform efforts.
OTHER NOTABLE FUNDING ISSUES
Within the cluster of various Banks and Funds, however, the FY13 recommends several changes. The proposal includes a 60% ($70 million) increase for the World Bank’s market-rate loan institution and a 2.5% ($34 million) rise for its concessional loan affiliate, the International Development Association. The Inter-American Development would increase 36% ($27 million), the Asian Development Fund by 15% ($15 million), and the Global Environment Facility by 44% ($40 million).
TDA, which estimates that its investments generated $3.9 billion in exports during FY11, proposes an FY13 budget of $58 million, up 16% ($8 million) from current levels. In FY13, OPIC estimates that its net costs will be -$192 million, about the same as for FY12. OPIC expects to support up to $4 billion in new direct loans and loan guarantees.
Pro-democracy and reform demonstrations in Egypt were at the heart of the Arab Spring throughout 2011. The transition has been turbulent and by no means has the situation stabilized. Exacerbating this chaotic situation was a growing degree of criticism by the Egyptian government of U.S. funding for civil society activists, an activity they charged was interfering in domestic politics and generating unrest among Egypt’s citizens. In December, Egyptian authorities raided the offices of three American organizations – the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute, and Freedom House – and issued a travel ban on their staff, many of whom remain in the country. There is growing concern that those on the no-fly list will be put on trial.
The raids and harassment aimed at NDI, IRI, and Freedom House have sparked considerable condemnation in the U.S., including warnings from Democrats and Republicans