[Dimitris Manis]: Mandatory spending cuts in the United States Federal Government, known as sequestration, have impacts beyond state programs domestically. The cuts, amounting to $85 billion, will affect the participation of the US in international aid and development programs. However, despite the harsh rhetoric and challenges, several analysts feel optimistic about the continuation of these programs. Like other federal services, the United States Agency for International Development will have to reduce its expenses as part of these cuts. The agency will need to cut 4% of its budget, resulting in reduced funds sent to international programs. However, many of these programs will not be directly affected, as the budget submitted every time has a two-year horizon. Although the percentage of money to be cut is relatively small, the health and daily lives of many people around the world will be affected, says George Ingram, an analyst at the Brookings Institution. [George Ingram]: The sector that will be affected the most is health, because most of the money goes to such programs. The cuts in this area will be about $400 million, which is quite a lot of money. The second sector is the humanitarian aid program, where there the cuts will be about $200 million. Both these impacts are significant blows as we are talking about life and death situations. [Dimitris Manis]: Raj Kumar is the President of the organization DEVEX, which conducts research and gathers information on international aid programs. He believes that AIDS patients are the ones who will suffer the most. [Raj Kumar]: We live in a world where 30 million people are carriers of the AIDS virus and many of them depend on American aid. [Dimitris Manis]: While many Americans criticize the provision of foreign aid, public opinion supports the goals achieved. [George Ingram]: Americans are enthusiastic supporters of aid efforts in programs for health, education, support of small businesses, promotion of democracy, and the economic development of other countries. On one hand, they do not like the granting of foreign aid, but on the other hand, they support its achievements. [Raj Kumar]: Those who are enthusiastic supporters of national security issues are traditionally the conservatives. Republican candidates support the provision of foreign aid because they see it as a matter of national security. [Dimitris Manis]: Despite the fact that the provision of foreign aid is one of the main issues of disagreement in political discussions, in reality, it does not even correspond to 1% of the American budget. Dimitris Manis, VOA, Washington.