(TibetanReview.net, Jan18’20) – The United States has provided approximately $19 million for Tibet programs in Tibet and exile through its Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020. The bill for the purpose was passed by the House of Representatives on Oct 28 and by the Senate on Nov 12. It was signed by President Donald Trump on Dec 20, 2019, said Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) Jan 17.
The provisions include grant of not less than $8 million (same level as last year) to nongovernmental organizations to support activities that preserve cultural traditions and promote sustainable development, education and environmental conservation in Tibetan communities in the Tibet Autonomous Region and in other Tibetan communities in the (People’s Republic of) China.
They also include, funding of not less than $6 million (also same level as last year) for programs to promote and preserve Tibetan culture and language in the refugee and diaspora Tibetan communities, development, and the resilience of Tibetan communities and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in India and Nepal, and to assist in the education and development of the next generation of Tibetan leaders from such communities.
There is also funding of not less than $3 million (also same level as last year) for programs to strengthen the capacity of the CTA and it will be administered by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
There is also funding at same level as last year for humanitarian assistance for Tibetan refugees in Nepal and India and for Cultural Tibetan exchanges and fellowships.
Funding for the office of the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues at the State Department is kept at the same level as last year at $1 million although no appointment of a Special Coordinator has been made under the Trump Administration thus far.
Funding for broadcasting into Tibet by Radio Free Asia and Voice of America is kept at “not less than current levels”.
The ICT report suggested that the funding included those for the Tibet projects of The National Endowment for Democracy which provides grants from funds allocated by the US Congress to support the democratic aspirations of people all over the world, including the Tibetan people.
The United States has been providing such funding support for Tibet since 1988 and the programs are annually a part of the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, which has been incorporated into the larger omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act.
“While these programs are a minuscule part of America’s overall foreign aid budget, this investment yields big dividends for Tibetans and their efforts to preserve their culture and identity in the face of China’s oppression,” ICT President has said.