Policy Update

USAID missions ordered to comply with Trump's 'foreign assistance realignment', despite the fact that review and documents have not yet been published

Missions to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have been told to comply with a yet-to-be-issued Trump administration 'foreign assistance realignment.' At the 2018 UN General Assembly, Trump announced a foreign assistance review (FAR). Although a draft was circulated in 2019, no final document has yet been issued and it is not clear that the process has actually concluded. Despite this, USAID missions were asked, during the fiscal year 2019 planning process, to address how a series of ten principles have affected US operations. USAID’s operating units had to submit 'operational plan foreign assistance realignment narratives', describing how the FAR principles applied within their country, region, or bureau.  If they did not align, an explanation for nonalignment was required.

Congressional concern for the FAR was reflected in the FY 2019 appropriations which required USAID and the State Department to consult with and regularly notify the respective appropriations committees for any “programmatic, funding, and implementation changes resulting from the implementation of the Foreign Assistance Review".  It is unclear what notifications or consultations with Congress have occurred. 

News article - Devex