(June 22, 2022 / JNS) The HouseAppropriations Committee released its draft of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs appropriations for the fiscal year 2023 on Tuesday, with funding for Israel and American foreign policy in the Middle East.
According to a news release, which summarized the bill’s contents, the draft proposes $64.6 billion in funding—about $8.5 billion or 15% more than last year.
The bill would be used to fund diplomatic, development and foreign-policy agencies and programs within the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the United Nations.
It also includes support for America’s international allies and programs, including countries in the Middle East.
- Israel is budgeted to receive $3.3 billion as part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Jewish state.
- Jordan is budgeted to receive up to $1.7 billion under its new MoU.
- Egypt is budgeted to receive $1.3 billion for security assistance with an increased percentage conditioned on “government and human-rights reporting requirements, and stringent conditions on political prisoners and providing American citizens injured in Egypt with commensurate compensation.”
- The bill budgets no less than $225 million in assistance to programs in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip under the Economic Support Fund for the “humanitarian and development needs” of Palestinians. The amount is $6 million above the budget that was passed for the fiscal year 2022 and $40 million above the Biden administration’s budget request.
- The Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act is budgeted to receive $50 million in its third year of implementation.
- $8 million is budgeted to facilitate Middle East regional cooperation.
The bill also includes $592 million for funding of international organizations—$159 million more than the previous year and $134.8 more than the president’s budget request.
Part of this funding is allocated to the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. It also includes a new, voluntary contribution to U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which the draft budget describes as providing needed food assistance for vulnerable Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. UNRWA has come under scrutiny in recent years by pro-Israel groups who have documented the indoctrination of Palestinian children against Jews and Israel at UNRWA-run schools.
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