” Why do nations assemble, and peoples plot vain things;”
In December, 128 countries voted in the United Nations General Assembly against the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. At the time, President Trump and Haley threatened that there would be grave repercussions for recipients of US aid who failed to stand by their benefactor on such issues.
On Thursday, Foreign Policy reported on a 53-page memo issued by Haley. Titled “America First Foreign Assistance Policy”, the new policy will make good on that threat.
“It is the opinion of the U.S. mission to the U.N. that all U.S. foreign assistance should be reevaluated to ensure that taxpayers dollars are spent to advance U.S. interests, not to fund foreign legacy programs that provide little or no return on investment,” the memo read.
The memo suggested there will be a general reassessment of the policy guiding US foreign aid.
“The autopilot nature of many U.S. foreign assistance efforts is leaving far too much ‘low-hanging fruit’ that should be either eliminated or leveraged into greater support at the U.N. and elsewhere,” the memo said.
The paper proposed reviewing the aid given to nearly 40 countries that received a total of $100 million in 2016 yet vote against the United States 54 percent of the time. One such example noted in the paper was South Sudan, among the top 10 recipients of US aid in 2016 that “votes for U.S. interests at the United Nations a paltry 47.9% of the time.”
The new policy singled out the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a key offender, noting cuts to the PA “should serve as a fulcrum from which we use our foreign assistance leverage and measure its impact.”
The Foreign Policy report cited a few of the countries that would be targeted by this new policy.
“Haley’s staff cite three U.S.-funded projects worth reconsidering in view of the recipient countries’ frequent lack of support for U.S. positions: A $3.1 million job training program in Zimbabwe, a $6.6 million climate change program in Vietnam, and a $4.9 million school construction program in Ghana. The memo tallied $580 million in total U.S. support for those three countries in fiscal year 2016, but saw support for U.S. positions in the U.N. only 54 percent of the time from Ghana, 38 percent of the time from Vietnam, and 19 percent of the time from Zimbabwe.”
“None voted with us on Jerusalem, even though none have a strong domestic constituency compelling the vote,” Haley’s memo stated, justifying the aid cuts.