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6 Facts Proving How Influential U.S. Foreign Aid Is

At a time when the United States’s new budget has recently been released and is a popular political conversation topic, and when four countries in Africa and the Middle East are approaching starvation, knowing the power of U.S. foreign aid is beneficial.

6 Facts Proving How Influential U.S. Foreign Aid Is

  1. In 2015, the United States spent around $49 billion on foreign aid. This is the most spent since directly following World War II and is around the same as the amount spent after the 9/11 attacks.
  2. The United States is also the most generous country toward foreign aid, leading by more than $10 billion ahead of the second most generous country, Germany. However, while this may cause one to think the United States is generous, it is only generous compared to other countries.
  3. The United States only spent 1.3 percent of its 2015 federal budget on foreign aid.
  4. The United States contributed about 28 percent of these countries’ total foreign aid assistance: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. The countries are facing displacement by Boko Haram insurgents (Nigeria), unprecedented drought (Somalia), civil war (South Sudan) and hunger crisis (Yemen).
  5. Last year, the United States donated $6.4 billion in humanitarian aid, more than a quarter of the total global funding to the U.N.
  6. Since the conflict started in late 2013, the United States has given South Sudan more than $2.1 billion. This assistance reportedly reached over a million people and helped avoid famine.

Given these facts, a 100 percent increase to the U.S. foreign aid budget–which would be insignificant if other areas of the budget such as that of the defense department were adjusted–would be a significant boost the country’s ability to help others. The situations in these four countries (amongst others) continues to worsen, and humanitarian organizations have recognized the importance of acting swiftly.

Call your representatives and mention these timely issues. Email them if you cannot call. These issues will not waver without our assistance.

James Hardison

Photo: Flickr