March 26, 2020

Third Emergency Supplemental to Combat COVID-19 Includes $1.12 Billion in International Affairs Funding for Global Response

Capping off days of intense negotiations between Congress and the Administration, this week a deal was reached on a third tranche of FY20 emergency supplemental funding to respond to the evolving COVID-19 crisis. The massive $2 trillion package, which is largely focused on mitigating the economic impacts of the pandemic, is the largest economic relief measure in America’s history. The package was approved unanimously by the Senate and is expected to pass the House on Friday before going to the President for his signature.

As a reminder, this funding to combat COVID-19 is not subject to discretionary spending caps for FY20 because it has been designated by Congress as “emergency” resource needs.

International Affairs Funding

Last week, the Administration requested an additional $220 million in international affairs resources to cover “unanticipated” costs related to COVID-19. Ultimately, as a result of bipartisan leadership in Congress, the third supplemental provided $1.12 billion in funding for the International Affairs Budget to support the global response.

This funding builds on the initial $1.25 billion for the State Department and USAID included in the first COVID-19 emergency funding bill that was signed into law earlier this month. These additional resources are essential to combating the pandemic worldwide and to protecting the security and economic interests of all Americans.

Specifically, the $1.12 billion is divided among the following:

  • Diplomatic Programs ($324 million): To maintain consular operations around the world, cover the costs of evacuating personnel and dependents, and provide for emergency preparedness needs.
  • USAID Operating Expenses ($95 million): To support the evacuation of U.S. citizens, surge support, and increase technical support associated with the COVID-19 response.
  • International Disaster Assistance ($258 million): To continue to support USAID’s disaster response capabilities in developing countries impacted by the pandemic.
  • Migration and Refugee Assistance ($350 million): To help prepare for and respond to the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable refugee populations around the world.
  • Peace Corps ($88 million): To support the evacuation of Peace Corps volunteers and workers.

Other Notable Provisions

The supplemental also contains other important provisions, including:

  • Increases the amount of funding that can be transferred from other diplomatic activities to cover the cost of emergency evacuations from $100 million to $110 million.
  • Increases the amount the Millennium Challenge Corporation can spend on administrative expenses from $105 million to $107 million to cover additional costs due to staff evacuations.
  • Provides for additional paid leave to address employee hardships resulting from COVID-19.
  • Authorizes U.S. contributions to the recapitalization and replenishment of international financial institutions, including the World Bank, African Development Bank, and International Finance Corporation, among others.

What’s Next

As COVID-19 continues to impact America and the rest of the world, Congress is already discussing the possibility of additional emergency funding bills. It is clear that Democrats and Republicans in Congress understand that we cannot successfully defeat this pandemic threat unless we fight it in every corner of the world. That is why it will be important for future emergency COVID-19 funding bills to include necessary resources to protect the safety and interests of Americans and ensure the U.S. continues to lead on the global response.