Economy > Economic aid > Donor: Group totals

Ian Graham, Staff Editor

Author: Ian Graham, Staff Editor

A poll in 2000 by the <a href=http://www.pipa.org/index.html>Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA)</a> and similar polls in earlier years found that most Americans vastly overestimate their country’s foreign aid spending. The median estimate of the percentage of the federal budget that goes to foreign aid was 20 percent, while the average estimate was 24 percent. The actual figure is a little less than 1 percent. <p>In an October 1997 poll, 63 percent of people surveyed believed more was spent on foreign aid than on Medicare, while 27 percent though Medicare spending was greater. That year, Medicare funding was about 10 times as much as foreign aid. <p>Respondents to the 2000 PIPA poll also overestimated U.S. aid as a percentage of all foreign aid. The median estimate was that American aid accounted for 33 percent of all aid. The actual figure for 1999 was 16 percent.
DEFINITION: The net official development assistance (ODA) from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations to developing countries and multilateral organizations. ODA is defined as financial assistance that is concessional in character, has the main objective to promote economic development and welfare of the less developed countries (LDCs), and contains a grant element of at least 25%. The entry does not cover other official flows (OOF) or private flows.


Group of 7 countries (G7) $72.07 billion 2008

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