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Trump seeks to slash aid to S. Asia with heavy cuts to Maldives

Aishath Mihna Nasih
26 May 2017, MVT 18:48
US President Donald Trump speaks during the Women in Healthcare panel at the White House in Washington, DC, March 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON
Aishath Mihna Nasih
26 May 2017, MVT 18:48

US President Donald Trump has submitted to congress a reduction in foreign aid to South Asia which includes a heavy cut in the amount of aid provided by the US to the Maldives.

The National Budget proposed to congress by Trump’s government includes USD 1.4 billion as aid to South Asia instead of the USD 2 billion previously given.

While the Former President Barack Obama gave USD 3.3 million to the Maldives under the US foreign aid policy, Trump’s government has proposed to limit the amount to USD 444,000. This is a decrease of 86 percent.

While the previous USD 3.3 million was provided for religious development, military activities and anti-terrorism activities, the new aid is only given to anti-terrorism activities and for opportunities in Professional Military Education.

Including the Maldives, aid to Sri Lanka has also been lowered from USD 42.5 million to USD 3.3 million and aid to Bangladesh has been slashed from USD 210 million to USD 138 million.

The highest amount of aid is given to Afghanistan which is USD 782 million.

The amendments are expected to be passed as the Republican Party holds the majority of the congress.

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