Informer: 2013 foreign aid budget just over $56 billion

By By Andrew Perzo / American Press

How many countries does the U.S. give money to?

The United States provides aid to well over half of the world’s nations, or more than 100 countries.

The 2012 foreign assistance budget for

the U.S. Agency for International Development, the primary dispenser of

aid to other

nations, amounted to $47 billion. The total for this year is $56.1

billion, which accounts for 1 percent of the U.S. government’s

budget, according to a State Department fact sheet.

Data on the website

ForeignAssistance.gov show that aid allocations for fiscal year 2013

include $199 million for Bangladesh;

$76.65 million for Yemen; $66 million for Madagascar; $51.96

million for Russia; $22.2 million for Bolivia; $7.5 million for

Papua New Guinea; $100,000 each for Portugal and Greece; and

$10,000 for Saudi Arabia.

The website, known as the Foreign Assistance Dashboard, allows users to view a shaded allocation map; track aid disbursements

for each country over several years; and view demographic data on each recipient nation.

“The goal of the Foreign Assistance

Dashboard is to enable a wide variety of stakeholders, including U.S.

citizens, civil

society organizations, the Congress, U.S. Government agencies,

donors, and partner country governments, to examine, research,

and track U.S. Government foreign assistance investments in an

accessible and easy-to-understand format,” reads the site,

which primarily lists USAID figures.

“The Dashboard is still in its early

stages of development. Future versions will incorporate budget,

financial, and program

data in a standard form from all U.S. Government agencies

receiving or implementing foreign assistance, humanitarian, and/or

development funds.”

Top 10

The 10 nations that received the most foreign aid in 2012, according to a Congressional Research Service report released in

July:

Israel — $3 billion.

Afghanistan — $2.3 billion.

Pakistan — $2.1 billion.

Iraq — $1.68 billion.

Egypt — $1.55 billion.

Jordan — $676 million

Kenya — $652 million.

Nigeria — $625 million

Ethiopia — $580 million.

Tanzania — $531 million.

The 10 nations slated to receive the most this year:

Israel — $3.1 billion.

Afghanistan — $2.5 billion.

Pakistan — $2.2 billion.

Iraq — $2 billion.

Egypt — $1.56 billion.

Jordan — $671 million.

Nigeria — $599 million.

Tanzania — $571 million.

South Africa — $489 million.

Kenya — $460 million.

“Prior to 9/11 and the wars in

Afghanistan and Iraq, Israel and Egypt typically received the largest

amounts of U.S. foreign

aid every year since the Camp David Peace Accords in 1978,” reads

the CRS report, titled “State, Foreign Operations, and Related

Programs: FY2013 Budget and Appropriations.”

“The reconstruction efforts in Iraq and

Afghanistan moved those countries into the top five, though assistance

to Iraq has

declined significantly in recent years with the completion of many

reconstruction activities. Meanwhile, a combination of

security assistance and economic aid designed to limit the appeal

of extremist organizations has moved Pakistan up the list

in recent years.”

Online: www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R42621.pdf.

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The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com