President Barack Obama is announcing he’ll ask Congress for $450 million in his budget next week for Colombia.
Obama is to ask for around $400 million in foreign aid, with the rest of the funds destined for humanitarian assistance and Pentagon counternarcotic programs.
Obama is praising Colombia’s “transformation” and says the country once “on the brink of collapse is now on the brink of peace.”
“After half a century of wrenching conflict, the time has come for peace,” Obama said after meeting with Colombian President Juan Manual Santos, Reuters reports.
The U.S. government would also commit $33 million to a global program to help the country remove land mines over the next five years. Obama also said he would help mobilize more international aid if the peace deal is reached on March 23.
The new program, entitled “Peace Colombia,” would provide about 25 percent more U.S. funding compared with 2016 levels.
“Just as the United States has been Colombia’s partner in a time of war, I indicated to President Santos we will be your partner in waging peace,” Obama said at a White House reception.