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Louis Jacobson
By Louis Jacobson December 29, 2009

Appropriations act created emerging democracies fund

During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama said that he would "introduce a new Rapid Response Fund" under the Agency for International Development. Obama described it as "a seed fund that will provide a shot of adrenaline to young democracies and post-conflict societies, through foreign aid, debt relief, technical assistance and investment packages that show the people of newly hopeful countries that democracy and peace deliver, and the United States stands by them."

The administration asked for $76 million for this fund in its budget proposal, plus another $40 million for a "stabilization bridge fund" to provide "immediate infusions into critical transition and stabilization programs and lessen the need for long-term deployments of military forces or peacekeepers." The total request for the two programs was $116 million.

When the president signed an omnibus appropriations bill in December that included funding for the State Department and for foreign operations, it included a combined $120 million for these two purposes, slightly more than the administration asked for.

While the money hasn't been spent yet, the promise referred to the establishment of a fund. Providing full funding for that purpose seems to us to qualify this as a Promise Kept.

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