Truth and myths about USAID and American foreign aid

Americans are woefully misinformed about not only foreign aid but also the role of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Americans generally estimate US foreign aid at 10% or more or our Federal budget. They also probably believe that this aid is mostly in food, shelter, governance, education and medical assistance. The truth, in brief, about United States’ foreign aid:

  1. The budget for international aid in the US is less than 1% of our budget.
  2. USAID depends heavily on contractors. Contractors like Haliburton and Chemonics lead the way in profiting at the rate of hundreds of millions from these contracts.
  3. USAID has very little control of these contractors.
  4. The main aim of USAID is to support US firms.
  5. All it takes is for a pressure group, like consulting engineers for example, complaining to the legislature or the While House that they are losing work as a result of technical assistance to a country, for USAID assistance to stop.
  6. US corporations have a big advantage related to bio-engineering of agricultural products, products which are mercilessly peddled to aid-receiving countries. If you want to end your career at USAID prematurely, talk about Franken-foods.
  7. USAID does not provide the prompt assistance that is needed by most countries.
  8. For most of its existence, USAID was a non-political agency, attempting to provide assistance wherever it was needed internationally. Unfortunately, by making it part of the State Department, it has almost certainly become a much more political agency.

[Read full CDN article by Mario Salazar, former USAid worker] 

150 Million desirous of immigrating to the US

According to a Gallup survey, there are about 150 million adults living
in countries around the world who would migrate to the United States if
they could. And that does not count any children these 150 million
would-be immigrants might want to bring with them.

To arrive at this figure, Gallup interviewed 452,199 people at least 15
years or older in 151 countries around the world from 2009 and 2011.
Gallup asked: “Ideally, if you had the opportunity, would you like to
move permanently to another country, or would you prefer to continue
living in this country? To which country would you like to move?”

The 150 million people whom Gallup estimated would like to come to the
United States includes 22 million Chinese, 15 million Nigerians, 10
million Indians, 8 million Bangladeshis, 7 million Brazilians, 5 million
Filipinos, 5 million Japanese, 5 million Mexicans, and 3 million each
from Vietnam, Kenya and the United Kingdom.

In Liberia, 37 percent of all adults want to leave their homeland and
move permanently to the United States of America. In Sierra Leone, it’s
30 percent. In Dominican Republic, it’s 26 percent. In Haiti, it’s 24
percent. And in Cambodia, it’s 22 percent.

So by far, according to Gallup’s survey, America is still the No. 1 land
of dreams for would be immigrants.