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Rubio Secures Key Funding to Promote Human Rights, Democracy, and Development Assistance Around the World

Jun 21, 2018 | Comunicados de Prensa

Washington, D.C. –  Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY2019 State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs (SFOPS) Appropriations bill, which includes key provisions advanced by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), such as funding for democracy programs in the Western Hemisphere, global health programs, and human rights and democracy promotion around the world.

“As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee, I support American diplomacy and international development,” said Rubio. “I’m committed to ensuring our nation’s diplomats and national security professionals have the resources required to carry out their important work, including efforts to advance democracy and human rights around the world.”

Select Rubio-supported provisions included in the FY2019 State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations bill:

Western Hemisphere:

  • Cuba: $15 million for democracy programs and civil society
  • Venezuela: $20 million for democracy programs and civil society
  • Nicaragua: $5 million for democracy programs and civil society
  • Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB): $29 million
  • U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America: $515 million
  • Colombia: $391.2 million for human rights programs and security assistance
  • Haiti: $51 million in development assistance, $9 million for International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement, $1.2m for foreign military financing, and $255,000 for international military education and training


  • Israel: $3.3 billion for security assistance in accordance with the U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding

Global Health:

  • PEPFAR: $5.72 billion
  • Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria: $1.35 billion
  • Polio eradication efforts: $59 million
  • The GAVI Alliance (vaccinations): $290 million

East Asia & Pacific:

  • Tibet: $17 million to assist Tibetan communities both within China, as well as India and Nepal.  The bill also requires the State Department to provide a report to Congress regarding Chinese government efforts to restrict access to Tibet (consistent with provisions in Rubio’s Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act)
  • Radio Free Asia: $44.8 million
  • Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy: Requires the State Department to provide a report to Congress certifying that Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous to justify different treatment under U.S. law than that accorded to China given concerns about the long-term viability of the “one country, two systems” model (consistent with provisions in Rubio’s Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act)

Democracy Funding/Promotion:

  • National Endowment for Democracy (NED): $170 million
  • Iran Democracy Programs: Requires a State Department report on efforts to advance human rights and democracy in Iran 
  • Internet Freedom: $13.8 million for internet freedom programs. The legislation also provides an additional $2.5 million in rapid response funding to surge internet freedom programs in closed societies if political events in-country merit it.
  • VOA Persia and Radio Farda: Report language to coordinate Iran counterinfluence programs


  • Combating Human Trafficking: $65 million
  • Fulbright Program: $242.4 million for the Fulbright program and $15.7 million for the Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship Program