Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Where does USAID's Money Go?

The top 20 recipients of USAID funding receive 52.5% of its total funding. Other foreign Aid is provided by the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Department of Defense,

The distribution is interesting. Heavy spending in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq is no doubt related to the Bush administration's wars. Heavy spending in the West Bank and Gaza, Jordan and Egypt are related to support for the state of Israel.

I note that U.S. Aid to Israel through 2008 is estimated at $114 billion. That is not 2008 dollars but simply a summation of the current dollars donated over the years; the purchasing power of those past dollars would be much higher now. Israel is estimated to have 7.4 million inhabitants, so the total corresponds to about $15,400 per person.

It is not clear to me why so much goes to Sudan and Ethiopia. Nor is it clear why so much goes to South Africa, the richest country in Sub-Saharan Africa nor to Nigeria, known for massive oil exports and massive corruption.

Would a distribution more focused on humanitarian goals be better? Apparently the State Department and the Congress did not think so.

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