Economic Support Fund
Definition/Scope: (USAID) The Economic Support Fund (ESF) promotes the economic and political foreign policy interests of the United States by providing assistance to allies and countries in transition to democracy, supporting the Middle East peace negotiations, and financing economic stabilization programs, frequently in a multi-donor context. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), with overall foreign policy guidance from the Department of State, implements most ESF-funded programs. (DoS) The FY 2009 ESF request advances U.S. interests by helping countries overcome short and long-term political, economic, and security hurdles. ESF also supports programs that encourage countries to respond to the needs of their people, thereby joining the community of well-governed states that act responsibly in the international system. In the Near East, ESF supports such objectives as advancing peace and stability, building accountable and transparent institutions, creating economic and educational opportunities for youth, and countering extremist ideology. In South Asia, ESF is a vital part of U.S. counter-terrorism, counternarcotics, and reconstruction and stabilization initiatives. In Africa, ESF programs focus on stabilization, reconstruction, recovery, governance, and economic growth. In the Western Hemisphere, programs address anti-corruption, trade capacity building, economic growth and democratic strengthening, as well as alternative development. ESF supports key foreign policy initiatives, such as the Middle East peace process, regional economic integration in East Asia and the Pacific, and regional security in Europe. Congress established the economic support fund (ESF) to promote economic and political stability in strategically important regions where the United States has special security interests. The funds are provided on a grant basis and are available for a variety of economic purposes, like infrastructure and development projects. Although not intended for military expenditure, these grants allow the recipient government to free up its own money for military programs.
Broader Terms:Department of State
Narrower Terms:counternarcotics operation
Related Terms:political instability