WASHINGTON, DC — The administration of President Barack Obama has called for a nearly 18 percent reduction in annual U.S. government assistance to Armenia which has steadily decreased over the past decade.
The administration’s draft budget for the fiscal year 2013 unveiled on Monday would allocate $32.5 million in economic aid and $3.3 million in separate military funding to the country, down from a total of $43.5 million that was approved by the U.S. Congress for this year.
The proposed reduction seems to stem from a further cut in overall U.S. aid to Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia sought by the administration. The budget proposal attributes that to the “achievement of a number of assistance goals” in the region.
“In recognition of the achievement of a number of assistance goals” in the region, the Assistance to Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia (AEECA) account was eliminated with funding now requested in the Economic Support Fund (ESF), International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE), and Global Health Program (GHP) accounts.
As was the case in FY 2012, the Administration did not specifically note funding levels for Nagorno Karabakh. However, Congress has routinely provided assistance to Nagorno Karabakh with last year’s final bill calling for funding “at levels consistent with prior years.”
Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), who serves on the House Appropriations Committee that overseas funding to the South Caucasus region, told the Assembly that he was going to work with his colleagues to ensure robust funding to Nagorno Karabakh.