by ELISSA SALAMY, The National Desk
WASHINGTON (SBG) - Government watchdog group OpenTheBooks.com found that nearly $300 billion in foreign aid was spent from 2013 to 2018.
“The American taxpayer has been very generous with foreign aid In any given year, it's about $47 billion of U.S. foreign aid,” said Open The Book’s Adam Andrzejewski to Scott Thuman on The National Desk. “We found that U.S. foreign aid dwarfs 48 out of 50 state governments in the direct receipt of federal aid. Only the states of California and New York receive more aid from Congress than what we give each year in foreign aid.”
Where do the billions in foreign aid go? According to Andrzejewski, about half of all foreign aid goes to Africa and the Middle East.
With recent economic woes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery, Andrzejewski says the “big public policy question is always whether we should reallocate this money to domestic problems.”
“Our researchers found that Columbia University, an Ivy League college, received $5 million to help AIDs in the kingdom of Lesotho,” said Andrzejewski. “We've got healthcare problems right here in the United States of America.”
According to OpenTheBooks’ oversight report. $14.6 billion in COVID funding was sent to foreign-related spending accounts - but billions of those dollars haven’t been spent.
“The U.S. Agency for International Development, they're in charge of doling out about $10 billion of that COVID aid around the world, and yet they've only delivered about $1.2 billion of that ‘emergency aid,’” said Andrzejewski. “While COVID takes its measure around the globe, Congress has allocated the money, it's just hard for this bureaucracy, this government to even get it out the door.”