Foreign Aid

On average, Americans are of the opinion that more than one quarter (31%) of the federal budget goes toward foreign aid. –In actuality, around 1% does.

Another little known fact: The United States ranks last among the world’s 20 top foreign aid donor countries and its foreign assistance have dropped dramatically over the past dozen or so years, according to the United Nations Human Development Report.

When you look at countries’ foreign aid relative to the size of their economies, the United States is devoting 0.1 per cent of its gross national product (GNP) to help the world’s poorest countries, less than any other industrialized nation.

Actually, all governments from post-industrialized countries, the primary donors for international development and relief, have significantly decreased their contributions in the years since the end of the Cold War. (Between 1992 and 1997, official assistance from leading industrialized countries dropped 30 percent, while at the same time their GNPs jumped almost 30.) And with the economy in the shape it is, humanitarian aid to the world’s poorest nations will unfortunately no doubt be viewed as even a lesser priority.

The generosity of the American people themselves, however, is far more impressive than that of the U.S.government. Americans privately give anywhere from 2 – 3 times what the U.S.government gives in foreign aid.   Read more

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