Though the United States is one of the wealthiest nations in the world, the country ranks poorly when it comes to aid and contributions to global poverty. In a ranked global list of 27 developed countries, the United States tied for 19. This gap in aid can be explained by the belief that Americans care more about helping people geographically near them than helping people who live further away.
A study conducted by the Center for Global Development established a “Commitment to Development” Index which measures the contributions of developed countries to less-developed nations around the world. The study also splits aid into 6 different sectors in order to account for every kind of assistance given by countries.
The security sector of the study, for example, deducts points from countries that give weapons to unstable or tyrannical governments. The study concluded that the United States does less than the average developed country to help underdeveloped nations, resulting from the lack of attention given to people residing in further countries.
Furthermore, a study conducted by a PhD student at Stanford found a clear correlation between citizens’ support for foreign aid and the amount of aid given by their country. In the United States, many people are very generous and give public and private donations at high levels; however, these donations are directed to fellow Americans. As it stands, a majority of Americans support donating to their fellow citizens and cutting aid in the form of food and money to foreigners.
Both studies go far in explaining the low levels of aid given by the United States of America to foreign nations. In order to increase the amount of aid given to foreign nations, the United States will have to change its attitude, thus allowing for a positive affect on the amount of aid donated overseas.
– Lienna Feleke-Eshete