US development policy: New priorities under Trump rule

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The new administration of US President Donald Trump has put forward an ‘America First’ vision in the field of development policy. In his 2018 budget proposal, President Trump requests the US Congress to scale back and refocus US political commitments and financial contributions in the areas of economic and development assistance, humanitarian aid and global health.

Limited US foreign assistance funding will be prioritised on the regions, programmes and international organisations that most directly advance US national security and economic interests. The US reasoning is that other countries, other donors and the private sector will fill the resulting development policy gaps, through paying ‘their fair share’.

In line with his scepticism of multilateral agreements and international organisations, President Trump announced on 1 June 2017 that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. While the withdrawal will potentially take years, the USA will immediately cease contributions to the Green Climate Fund, which was not just established to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries, but also to help vulnerable societies adapt to the impacts of climate change.

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