Ethiopia, Uganda Named As Biggest Losers in Trump’s Plant to Cut Aid

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By Allan Olingo

Uganda and Ethiopia will be the biggest losers in the region in the US President Donald Trump administration proposal to do away with all funding through the development assistance account, instead channelling these monies towards economic assistance.

According to a State Department budget document seen by The EastAfrican, the 2017/18 budget proposes a 30.8 per cent cut to overall foreign aid. In Africa, Washington is looking at saving $777.1 million from the proposed budget cuts prepared early this month.

Within the region, while Somalia will get an increase in funding of about $36.1 million, Ethiopia will suffer the biggest cut at $132.1 million followed by Uganda at $67.8 million. Rwanda and Tanzania will suffer a cut of $50.7 million each while Kenya will see a funding cut of $11.78 million, South Sudan $10.6 million and Burundi $9.4 million.

The proposed budget data also shows that Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda will continue to receive economic support aid of $201 million with only South Sudan seeing an increase of $10.6 million. It is only Burundi and the African Union that have seen this support — at $1.65 million — withdrawn completely.

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The US uses the economic assistance fund to promote economic and political stability where it has strategic interests. The fund has been used in anti-extremism funding, improvements to judicial processes and training to the private sector in economic development.

The proposed measures will do away with development aid across the region. Tanzania and Ethiopia will be the biggest losers as they have annually received more than $96 million from Washington as development aid. Kenya will also have to plug the $83 million cut, as will Uganda at $58 million and Rwanda at $49 million. Burundi, Somalia and South Sudan do not receive any development aid from the US.

Data from the non-profit Security Assistance Monitor shows that Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Nigeria were among the top five countries to receive the most aid from the US in the past two years.

Tanzania is expected to take a hit, as it has struggled to fill the gaps left after aid was withheld, affecting its budgets over the past two years. It was the first African country to qualify for US development funding under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), bagging more than $700 million for its energy and road projects.

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In February, Finance Minister Philip Mpango sounded the alarm over missed targets for the 2016/17 budget, revealing that the government had only met 37 per cent of the development budget by then.

Last month, at the signing of a five-year $199.74 million grant agreement with the European Union, Permanent Secretary for Finance James Dotto said that the government had a working relationship with Western donors that would see the funding tap reopened.

Interestingly, this was one of the major deals Tanzania had bagged in recent times since the freezing of aid three years ago following the $443.2 million Tegeta Escrow scandal.

Last month, President Trump proposed massive cuts in allocations to the United Nations and America’s aid agency USAid in his new budget. In the budget proposal, titled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” President Trump planned to increase military spending by $54 billion by reducing allocations to other areas.

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The budget for the State Department would be cut by $10.9 billion (28 per cent), from the current $38 billion, to $27.1 billion. He has also proposed to end the $28.2 million funding to the African Development Foundation, a US agency that gives grants of up to $250,000 to communities and small businesses in sub-Saharan Africa.



  1. It is a good step forward. Any aid to TPLF (Tigray people libration front) in the name of ethiopia is poisen for ethiopian people because the aid can be diverted to tigray libration front that rape the ethiopian people since 1993. International community should force these Gangsters Tplf at least to free those ethiopians who are suffering in the prison of tplf in ethiopia. Other wise it can be catastroph not only for erhiopian people but also for the whole human Kind. International community should prevent the catastroph like sorrya to be happen in ethiopia.

  2. Few months ago one of the greatest Ethiopian alive, Dr. Alemayehu G. Mariam wrote a very detailed and convincing letter to President Trump advising him to cut financial aid to African dictators, US state department and USAID. Guess what, it worked. Keep up the great job Dr. A.

    African countries that are run by brutal, extremely corrupt and criminal dictators such as Ethiopia which is led by TPLF, a CANCER of not only East Africa but also the whole Africa, should not only be denied even a penny but should also be severely sanctioned in order to facilitate their painful exit from power. All peace and democracy loving people all over the globe, especially those of east Africa origin should go to WHITE HOUSE homepage and write a letter to President Trump thanking him for reducing the amount of BLOOD money to killers, looters, rapers, jailers, enslavers, impoverishers and starvers of African people and to advise him to not only cut the aid to ZERO but also to place the criminal non democratic dictators on a crippling and disabling sanction. Moreover, advise him to support Ethiopian democratic, freedom and private enterprise loving opposition forces such as PATRIOTIC GINBOT 7. I WILL WRITE THE LETTER, WILL YOU? JOIN ME BROTHERS AND SISTERS.

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