In the past three years, the Administration has moved to substantially increase U.S. aid levels for Guatemala from $18.3 million in FY84 to a proposed $149.7 million in FY88. Budgetary limits on the overall size of the U.S. foreign aid program may cause reductions in the proposed 1988 levels, however, independent of any choices related to the Guatemalan, situation. This issue brief provides basic information on the U.S. aid program and on the general situation in Guatemala. It also outlines major issues that have arisen in the aid debate.
The United States has donated the largest share of the world-wide relief effort. Members of Congress nave passed legislation, the African Famine Relief and Recovery Act of 1985 (2.L. 99-8), authorizing emergency relief assistance to Ethiopia and other famine-stricken countries. Some observers favor trying to remove restrictions that prohibit long-term agricultural development assistance and other forms of economic aid to Ethiopia, but many continue to believe that aid to this Marxist-oriented nation should be limited to humanitarian relief. The Ethiopian food situation will probably remain a central issue among U.S. lawmakers and relief officials during the 99th Congress.
On August 5, 1983, President Reagan signed Public Law 98-67, which provides duty-free entry into the United States for certain Caribbean exports and allows U.S. business people to take tax deductions for the expense of attending conventions in the Caribbean region.
This report discusses the 1985 African famine situation, especially regarding U.S. emergency assistance at a time of U.S. domestic budgetary restraints, the adequacy of U.S. measures for monitoring and anticipating food emergencies, and the scale and nature of U.S. agricultural development programs intended to prevent future famines.
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