[…] Bolstering the economic support fund while gutting development assistance has raised fears in the development world that the Trump administration is more interested in using foreign assistance to achieve short-term political objectives than his predecessors.
“Historically, the ESF is used primarily as a means of helping political allies in ways that we want to provide funding to them but with less emphasis on development outcomes,” said Steven Radelet, the former chief economist at USAID.
According to Natsios, the former USAID administrator, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger similarly diverted funds during the Cold War. Natsios pointed to the consultations that current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has had with Kissinger and believes that the elder statesman may be influencing the administration’s attitude toward foreign aid restructuring.
“I think Dr. Kissinger is one of our greatest Secretaries of State. He has, however, not been one of our supporters over the long term for development assistance, said Natsios. “Dr. Kissinger’s analysis, in my view, is completely wrong.”