US Foreign Aid Benefits Recipients — And The Donor
The Guardian; UN Millennium Campaign Newsletter
Sam Worthington, CEO of InterAction, writes, “Americans think they give far more aid than they actually do, and are clamoring to cut it. But aid isn’t just about compassion, it serves our security and economic interests too.” Americans typically estimate that the U.S. Government spends 25 percent of the budget on foreign aid; in reality, it is less than 1 percent. Interestingly, Americans tell pollsters about 10 percent of U.S. government spending would be the right amount. Privately, Americans give tens of billions annually, and they expect their government to be altruistic — even if they underestimate how much is actually spent. This statistic may help explain why the public supports cutting foreign assistance; a recent Gallop Poll found that 59 percent of Americans wanted to reduce foreign aid.