Foreign Policy Highlights From the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
February 2, 2015
Graphic: Only One Percent of the Federal Budget is Spent on Foreign Affairs

Today, President Barack Obama released his FY 2016 budget request to Congress.  The President’s budget request for the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) directly supports the forthcoming National Security Strategy by helping to build and sustain a more secure, prosperous, and democratic world.

This afternoonDeputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah spoke about the President's budget request and discussed what it means for the State Department and USAID.  Administrator Shah said, "...Most Americans think our collective budget is greater than 20 percent of the federal budget, and in fact it’s somewhat smaller than that, clocking in at just under 1 percent."

Administrator Shah continued, "...The modest yet critical investments we make...contribute directly to American strength, security, trade, and prosperity."

The FY2016 budget request proposes targeted investments in international programs that will help mobilize collective action to meet global challenges, counter terrorism and violent extremism overseas, strengthen the U.S. economy, and support United States citizens and the U.S. presence overseas. Here are a few highlights from the budget proposal:

  • Dedicating $3.5 billion to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and respond to the crisis in Syria, bolster regional security, and provide for related humanitarian needs;
  • Providing $1 billion to address the root causes of migration from Central America, including the migration of unaccompanied children;
  • Investing in clean energy, sustainable landscapes, and adaptation through the Global Climate Change Initiative to support a healthy global environment, climate-smart growth, and improved resilience to the impacts of climate change for the most vulnerable countries;
  • Providing $5.4 billion for international organizations and peacekeeping missions to share global security responsibilities with other nations and respond to new peacekeeping requirements;
  • Investing $4.8 billion to support security requirements and overseas infrastructure to support the people, infrastructure, and programs that enable U.S. operations and relations with foreign governments;
  • Advancing the President’s commitment to global health by: investing in programs to end preventable child and maternal deaths; combating infectious disease threats in support of the Global Health Security Agenda; and creating an AIDS-free generation by supporting targeted global HIV/AIDS efforts, including through a new PEPFAR Impact Fund; and
  • Countering Russian pressure and aggressive actions by providing essential support for Ukraine and neighboring countries in the region.

The budget also advances diplomatic engagement on issues, such as human rights and non-proliferation policies, as well as strengthens democratic institutions overseas.  For more information, visit

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