Thought I’d share a table of current aid to Colombia. Click it to expand it in a new window. In sum, it looks like Congress will once again refuse the deep aid cuts the Trump White House had requested for 2019. Aid will continue to follow the “Peace Colombia” framework that guided assistance in 2017 and 2018.
In a nutshell:
- Economic Support Funds are economic aid administered by USAID. The table shows some ESF earmarked for specific purposes. The rest funds efforts to increase non-military state presence in post-conflict areas, aid to vulnerable populations, crop substitution, human rights, and similar priorities. The Trump administration sought to cut this from $187 million to $100 million; Congress disagreed.
- International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement, administered by the State Department’s bureau of the same name, pays for “hard side” programs like coca eradication and drug interdiction, and for “soft side” programs, mostly assistance to Colombia’s judicial system.
- The Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining, and Related Programs account, in Colombia, is devoted entirely to demining programs.
- Foreign Military Financing, the State Department’s main non-drug military assistance program, is funding counternarcotics battalions, aviation support, and especially the Colombian armed forces’ involvement in post-conflict construction projects.
- Defense Department Counter-Drug Support, from the Pentagon’s budget, pays for training, boats, mostly non-lethal equipment upgrades, computers and software, and much intelligence and reconnaissance support.
- The additional assistance for Venezuelans in Colombia figures come from a July 18 State Department fact sheet. and an August 8 USAID press release.