Foreign Aid | OpenTheBooks Oversight Report 1_Foreign_Aid_thumbnail2

August 31, 2021 02:10 PM




1. The U.S. gives more money in foreign aid than any other country in the world.

2. The U.S. spent at least $282.6 billion on foreign aid between 2013-2018—almost $47 billion on foreign aid in FY2018, alone.
3. At least $14.6 billion in COVID-19 funding has gone into four foreign-related spending accounts, while billions of those dollars have yet to be allocated or spent.
4. The U.S. spent 78% of its FY2018 foreign aid on two areas:
  • bilateral economic development programs (43%) 
  • military and non-military security assistance (35%)

5. In FY2019, 23 U.S. federal agencies reported they spent $12.2 billion from U.S. taxpayers on international organizations.

25 of those international organizations received more than a combined $11 billion, and 21 of those 25 took home over $100 million each.

6. The U.S.’s $47 billion in FY2018 foreign aid was more than 48 out of 50 U.S. states spent that year in funds sent by Washington, D.C.

7. Afghanistan received $6 billion in U.S. foreign aid in FY2018, the most of any country in the world, with Israel the runner up at $3 billion.

That year, sub-Saharan Africa received the most U.S. foreign aid of any region in the world, 27%, with the Middle East & North Africa combined receiving the second highest amount of U.S. tax dollars, 24%.

8. Five U.S. agencies distributed the bulk of U.S. foreign aid spending in FY2018, the top being USAID ($20.1 billion), DOD ($13.3 billion), and the State Department ($7.4 billion).

9. U.S. taxpayers give at least $9.7 billion annually to the UN system, through 58 separate entities, which include:

  • UN peacekeeping: $1.46 billion in FY2021 for dues, $10.26 billion over the last six years
  • UN regular budget: $685.5 million in FY2021 for dues, $2.5 billion over the last 3½ years
  • World Food Program: $2.6 billion in FY2019
  • UNHCR refugee office: $1.7 billion in FY2019
  • UNICEF: $833 million in FY2020, $5.9 billion in U.S. funding over 14 years
  • WHO: $230 million so far in FY2021, $4.1 billion in U.S. funding over 14 years
  • UNRWA Palestinian aid: New $150 million in restarted aid announced in 2021, $6.3 billion sent from U.S. taxpayers since 1953.

10. In 2021 the U.S. international affairs budget, which includes foreign aid and other international operations funding (but not defense spending), was over $60 billion.

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