Which Countries Receive the Most Foreign Aid From the U.S.?
In 2021, over 150 countries and territories, regional funds, and NGOs received aid from the United States, amounting to more than $50 billion.
Congress allocates foreign aid annually, considering national security, commercial, and humanitarian concerns.
USA Facts utilized information from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to create a map that showcases the nations that received the majority of aid.
Food Assistance and the War on Drugs
Throughout 2021, the United States prioritized directing its aid towards nations that were struggling with internal conflicts and facing humanitarian crises.
After the American troops withdrew in the same year, Afghanistan became the primary beneficiary of significant aid, receiving billions of dollars every year as a part of the humanitarian response.
|Country||Assistance (USD)||Top Activity|
|🇦🇫 Afghanistan||$1.5 billion||Humanitarian Assistance|
|🇪🇹 Ethiopia||$1.4 billion||Emergency Food Assistance|
|🇯🇴 Jordan||$1.3 billion||Cash Transfer|
|🇾🇪 Yemen||$1.1 billion||Emergency Food Assistance|
|🇸🇸 South Sudan||$1.0 billion||Emergency Food Assistance|
|🇨🇩 DRC||$891 million||Emergency Food Assistance|
|🇸🇾 Syria||$844 million||Humanitarian Assistance|
|🇳🇬 Nigeria||$828 million||Global Health Supply Chain|
|🇨🇴 Colombia||$761 million||Counter-Narcotics|
|🇸🇩 Sudan||$620 million||Emergency Food Assistance|
Several African nations that are struggling with famine and internal conflicts are among the top countries that receive U.S. assistance. Additionally, Colombia is one of the top 10 countries that receive millions of dollars in aid to fight drug trafficking.
Israel Leading in Aid Over Time
Over the course of the post-World War II era, the United States has allocated an impressive sum of over $3.75 trillion in foreign aid, adjusted for inflation.
During the post-war years, foreign aid reached its highest point, thanks to the Marshall Plan. The main goal of this initiative was to provide assistance in rebuilding the economic infrastructure of Europe after the war.
In 1949, the United States foreign aid reached an impressive sum of almost $100 billion.
For decades, Israel has been the leading beneficiary of U.S. foreign aid, receiving over $300 billion in assistance since the 1940s. Majority of this aid has been in military support, which has helped Israel to develop advanced missile defense systems and other crucial projects.
Foreign aid has been primarily aimed at protecting U.S. interests in the region due to Israel’s close proximity to Syria in the northeast, Lebanon influenced by Hezbollah in the north, and an Islamist insurgency in Egypt’s Sinai to the south.
Vietnam, despite the two-decade-long conflict that claimed the lives of millions of Vietnamese and approximately 58,000 Americans, is now receiving significant financial support from Washington. This financial aid is being utilized for various purposes such as economic and technological cooperation, military assistance, and even for the cleanup efforts of Agent Orange remnants left by the U.S. military during the war.
The United States has been providing considerable foreign aid to Egypt since 1975, with the primary aim of easing tensions in the Arab-Israeli context through diplomatic efforts.
During the Cold War, South Vietnam, South Korea, and other countries received significant aid packages from Washington.
From 2003 onwards, a significant proportion of the funds has been allocated towards Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
The Debate Surrounding U.S. Foreign Aid
The Congressional Research Service recently released a report stating that foreign aid has the potential to enhance the United States’ global influence while addressing global issues and promoting shared values.
Despite the report’s findings, some Americans and Members of Congress view foreign aid as an expense that the country cannot bear, especially given the current budget deficits and other budgetary priorities.
The United States provided aid to other nations in 2021, which constituted approximately 0.7% of the federal government’s overall expenses.
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