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US to cut financial aid, stop military support to Bangladesh

  • Published at 08:15 pm May 25th, 2017
US to cut financial aid, stop military support to Bangladesh
The Trump administration, in a proposed US State Department budget, has recommended the reduction financial assistance and military support for Bangladesh. The proposal has already been sent for the approval of Congress. In 2016, Bangladesh received $210m in funds from the US. However, the State Department has proposed to cut the amount to $138m for 2018. In addition, the proposed budget has recommended that the US stop all military funding to Bangladesh, having provided $2m for the purpose in 2016. However, the proposal does include an allocation of $1.5m for military training and education in Bangladesh. The US government in the budget also proposed that $95m be allocated to help continue development of the democratic system and economic growth in Bangladesh. The move corresponds with the electoral pledge of US President Donald J Trump, as he had said that he would cut funds for foreign countries if elected. Furthermore, the US State Department has recommended an allocation of $3m as anti-terrorism assistance to help Bangladesh contain militancy. In 2016, Bangladesh received $79m in funds for its health sector, while the proposed budget for next year will be cut to $36.7m. However, the amount is still the highest granted to any South Asian countries, with India receiving just $29.6m. Nepal and Pakistan hold the third and fourth positions on the list. The US government has also proposed an allocation of $22.5m to curb the maternal mortality rate and ensure healthcare services for children under five. Another $4.8m has been proposed for community-based nutrition programmes and to help combat malnutrition in children less than two years of age, while the proposed allocation for controlling import and border security is $300,000. Meanwhile, $95m has been recommended under the Economic Support and Development Fund (ECDF) for Bangladesh in the 2018 fiscal year. The fund did not receive an allocation in 2016. The State Department said it has proposed the allocation for the ECDF to ensure the national security of the US by helping Bangladesh maintain its economic growth and by stabilising the democratic system. The US government believes that the ECDF will help Bangladesh expand the availability of quality services among its people, develop the market system, take care of trade and natural resources, and resist militant groups such as al-Qaeda. The fund will also help check international crimes and human trafficking, while also aiding in the development of agriculture. The ECDF will also help in disaster and natural resource management.