The Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs approved a $52.7 billion FY 2011 spending bill on Wednesday that withheld $3.9 billion in aid for Afghanistan over concerns about corruption in the country, CongressDaily reports. The bill "already cut $4 billion from President Obama's request to fund the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development and dozens of foreign assistance and cooperation programs," the publication writes.
The funding for Afghanistan will be blocked until the panel holds hearings on the matter of corruption, according to Subcommittee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.). "Lowey and ranking member Kay Granger, R-Texas, also requested [the Government Accountability Office] to conduct a detailed audit of all U.S. funds provided to Afghanistan for the last three fiscal years. While stressing the importance of Afghanistan to U.S. national security and her support for assistance to education, economic development, health care and enhancement of women's rights, Lowey said: 'We have an obligation to every American to ensure that their hard-earned tax dollars are not squandered through corruption and graft,'" CongressDaily reports (Kreisher, 7/1).
In the bill, a total of $8.25 billion was allocated to global health with HIV/AIDS activities receiving $5.875 billion, which includes $825 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, $125 million more than Obama requested, according to a press release (.pdf) from Lowey's office. The release also states that "$615 million [goes] to support malaria programs and increased funding for programs that address maternal and child health, family planning, tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases." Voluntary family planning services for women in the developing world will receive $735 million, of which $60 million is allocated for the U.N. Population Fund.
In addition, "the Committee provides $1 billion for food security and agricultural development, $300 million below the request," according to the release (6/30).
A breakdown of the appropriations bill is available here (.pdf).
This information was reprinted from kff.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery. © Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.