Economic Support Fund
Economic Support Fund At A Glance
The Economic Support Fund is aid designated to promote economic or political stability in areas where the United States has special strategic interests.
Economic Support Funds (ESF) is economic aid designated to promote economic or political stability in areas where the United States has special strategic interests. Authorized under Chapter 4, Part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, ESF is a flexible assistance tool that can be structured to meet a diverse range of foreign policy and economic development objectives. The makeup of ESF programs are made on a country-specific basis, while the nature of ESF assistance to a particular country is determined by a combination of the needs of the recipient and U.S. foreign policy objectives. Among ESF’s diverse applications are the following programs (among others): advancing peace and stability, building accountable and transparent institutions, creating economic and educational opportunities for youth, countering extremist ideology, counter-terrorism and counternarcotics, governance, economic growth, anti-corruption, trade capacity building and democratic strengthening. The executive branch is responsible for policy decisions and justifications for ESF use, including country eligibility and funding levels. Originally, ESF was called Security Supporting Assistance, which began in earnest in 1961, though it was renamed ESF in 1971 to emphasize the economic development purposes of the aid. Generally, ESF resources must be obligated within two years of their original appropriation and have a liquidation term of five years.