President Donald Trump has ordered the State Department to cut its funding for programs at the United Nations by half, according to a report from Foreign Policy.
Foreign Policy, citing three unnamed sources at the State Dept. as the source of its reporting, said the move constitutes “an unprecedented retreat by [the] administration from international operations that keep the peace, provide vaccines for children, monitor rogue nuclear weapons programs, and promote peace talks from Syria to Yemen.”
As the Trump administration is set to release its proposed 2018 budget, cuts of up to 37% at the State Dept., the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), peacekeeping operations, and other foreign aid programs are expected.
The status of other United Nations agencies, such as the World Food Program, is unclear as some are not funded by the State Dept. (the World Food Program is funded by the Dept. of Agriculture).
The US contributes approximately 22% of the UN’s regular budget, including money earmarked to battle climate change, and nearly 28% of the total peacekeeping budget. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees receives $1.5 billion of its $4 billion budget from the US.
“It remains unclear whether the full extent of the steeper UN cuts will be reflected in the 2018 budget, which will be prepared by the White House Office of Management and Budget, or whether, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has proposed, the cuts would be phased in over the coming three years,” Foreign Policy reported.
“One official close to the Trump administration said Tillerson has been given flexibility to decide how the cuts would be distributed.”
Richard Gowan, an expert on the UN for the globalist European Council on Foreign Relations, said the proposed budget cuts would create “chaos.”
The Trump administration’s proposed cuts to refugee-related programs would “leave a gaping hole that other big donors would struggle to fill,” according to Gowan.
“Multiply that across other humanitarian agencies, like the World Food Programme, and you are basically talking about the breakdown of the international humanitarian system as we know it.”