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MEDIA NOTE: Trump administration's plans to cut aid and increase military spending – ODI statement and expert available

Written by Alex Thier

The President of the United States Donald Trump is planning to cut the country’s foreign aid budget to help fund a major boost in military spending, it has been announced today.

Alex Thier, Executive Director of the ODI and former senior official at the United States Agency for International Development, said: ‘A significant cut to US foreign assistance, as proposed by President Trump, will drastically reduce the life-saving, economy enhancing, democracy supporting power of the United States. American security and economic interests around the world are best served by healthy, educated populations able to partner with the US to combat extremism, corruption, and climate change.

‘For context, the US foreign assistance budget is just 1% of the federal government budget and equivalent to about 5% of the defence budget, before any cuts. At the same time we know US foreign assistance programmes are often the best dollar spent because spending on these programmes are the most evaluated and scrutinised in the federal budget. Proven results, from a huge reduction of malaria deaths in parts of Africa to dramatic increases in food production in South Asia, are abundant.

‘There's no question that a cut of this magnitude will lead to a loss of life, loss of progress that supports the US economy and security, and loss of American power and prestige.’

ENDS

For further information or to interview Alex Thier please email [email protected] or call +44 (0)7808 791265.

Visit Alex’s profile on our website.

Read Alex’s recent blog on US foreign policy and development under Trump