US military officials have announced a reduction in civilian assistance to Haiti, as a part of a plan to cut more than $2.5 billion from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) budget.
“This is an important step in a broader strategy to help Haitians and other countries in need through the year 2020,” USAID Administrator Stephanie Miller said in a statement.
“We will continue to work with partners, including the Haitian Government and the Haitian people, to develop a comprehensive strategy to address the devastating impact of this devastating earthquake and the impacts it has had on Haiti and the Caribbean.”
Haiti has been devastated by the 2015 earthquake that killed nearly 8,000 people, and has been on a humanitarian response mission to the U,S.
More than 20,000 Haitians remain homeless.
USAID has been struggling to deliver aid since the devastating earthquake, and the cuts were made after the organization said it would no longer be able to provide direct aid to Haitians who have been displaced by the disaster.
The move came after President Trump signed a $15 billion aid package into law on May 1, which included a waiver allowing USAID to divert money from its Haiti relief funds to other programs.
But it also required USAID staff to work in Haiti and help coordinate Haiti relief efforts, including with the Haitian government.
In September, USAID announced it would cut $1.2 billion from its humanitarian relief budget.
The USAID budget was originally slated to increase by $1 billion during the current fiscal year, which ends on October 1.
However, the administration delayed the budget increase until January 2018, meaning that the total budget would decrease by $3.2 to $2,939 million, or 0.7 percent.