The United States will continue Plan Colombia in
2010. While local media report a reduction of 33 million dollars,
Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos says that the US financial aid will be at
the same level as in 2009.
The financial resources are part of a giant budget of 53 billion dollars with which the United States will finance its operations abroad in the next year. Colombia will receive at least 520 million dollars.
“This is a positive sign, the United States have understood that Colombia is a strategic partner in many ways”, Santos said to El Espectador Friday, explaining that the financial aid for 2010 will be virtually the same as for 2009.
Other media, however, reported a reduction of 33 million dollars compared to this year.
The money for Colombia will be mainly distributed to four sub accounts. International Narcotics Control (Incle) will receive around 237 million dollars, Economic Support Fund (ESF) will be supported with 200 million dollars, 66 million will go to Military Funding Abroud (FMF) and approximately 1.5 to the International Military Education and Training (IMET), El Tiempo reported Friday.
Further 6 million dollars are planned for mine clearance and anti-terrorism training programs.
The budget plan of the Obama administration was highly anticipated by the Colombian government after severe criticsm of both the Democratic majority in US Congress and Obama led to insecurity about the funding of Colombia’s war agains drugs and illegal armed groups.