President Donald Trump is making good on his promise to put America first by directing a major cut to United Nations funding.
The administration has instructed the State Department to cut more than 50 percent of U.S. funding to United Nations programs, according to Foreign Policy. The U.S. currently spends about $10 billion a year on the United Nations.
Trump’s cuts to the UN would slash more than 50% of U.S. funding for peacekeeping and humanitarian programs: https://t.co/LqqXBySThn
— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) March 14, 2017
The 2018 budget proposal prepared by the White House Office of Management and Budget, is scheduled to be released Thursday. It is expected to include a 37 percent budget cut to the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development budgets, and other foreign assistance programs, including the U.N.
It is not yet clear if the proposed budget to be released Thursday will reflect the full extent of the U.N. cuts or, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has proposed, the reductions would be phased in over next three years.
Programs funded by State’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs, like peacekeeping, UNICEF, and the U.N. Development Programme, could feel the greatest impact of the proposed cuts. But whether other programs funded out of separate accounts in the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the State Department, like the World Food Programme and U.N. refugee operations, will be affected remains unclear.
Richard Gowan, a U.N. expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said cuts of this level would spark “chaos” if true.
With the U.S. providing $1.5 billion of the U.N. refugee agency’s $4 billion budget last year, Gowan said the cuts would “leave a gaping hole that other big donors would struggle to fill.”
“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,” he told Foreign Policy.
But the slash in funding is aimed to offset Trump’s projected $54 billion increase in defense spending, following the president’s promise to strengthen America’s military.
While Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has cautioned against drastic cuts, she is reportedly reviewing the U.N.’s 16 peacekeeping missions to see if she can find room for cuts.
Twitter users applauded the decision and some thought the cuts were not steep enough.
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— The Hill (@thehill) March 13, 2017
@thehill Hell I say go all in! Make it an even 100%!
— BitchinRedhead (@fityshadesofred) March 14, 2017
— OcAugust (@OcAugust) March 14, 2017
@thehill awesome the UN is a waste of our tax dollars – let someone else pay for a change
— OcAugust (@OcAugust) March 13, 2017
.@ForeignPolicy we are $20 trillion in debt. And why can’t some other nations pick up the slack? How effective has the UN been?
— House of Idols (@HouseofIdols1) March 14, 2017
— RED BARON (@airforce2100) March 14, 2017
@thehill 50% is a good start.
— dr-mckinley (@DennyMcKinley) March 13, 2017
@thehill about time someone in DC sees what a waste of money the UN has become. Start with 50% then decrease annually
— ken hodges (@retiredgrnberet) March 14, 2017
— AlSharpton’s2ndChin (@toadtws) March 14, 2017
@thehill Pearl clutching leftists: “Muhhhhh global agenda”
— Americans 4 America (@Yuan1557800) March 13, 2017
@thehill Cutting 100% would be better, but this is a start!
— Artemis (@ArtemisEnodia) March 13, 2017
— Lawrence P W Holmes (@atlantictory) March 13, 2017
— I Got News for You (@viewfromhere01) March 14, 2017
@thehill Music to my ears! UN needs to move to Brussels. I would support funding that! Cut all other support to UN by 50%.
— HowardH (@HH41848213) March 13, 2017