Grant Montgomery – Grant’s Rants on
International Aid and Our Global Responsibility
Who Helps the World's Poor
On average, Americans are of the opinion that 24% of the federal budget goes toward foreign aid. --In actuality, less than 1% does. With the economy in the shape it is, humanitarian aid to the world’s poorest nations will unfortunately be viewed as even a lesser priority.

Governments from post-industrialized countries, the primary donors for international development and relief, have significantly decreased their contributions in the years since the end of the Cold War. Between 1992 and 1997, official assistance from leading industrialized countries dropped 30 percent, while at the same time their GNPs jumped almost 30.


Another little known fact: The United States ranks last among the world's 28 top foreign aid donor countries and its foreign assistance have dropped dramatically over the past dozen or so years, according to the United Nations Human Development Report.Furthermore, the priority of US “foreign aid” is arms and military assistance to foreign countries. 

When you look at countries' foreign aid relative to the size of their economies, the United States is devoting 0.1 per cent of its gross national product (GNP) to help the world's poorest countries, less than any other industrialized nation.


The generosity of the American people themselves, however, is far more impressive than that of the U.S. government.


Americans privately give anywhere from 2 – 3 times what the U.S. government gives in foreign aid. For example, recorded financial statistics for one year indicate:

       American NGOs gave $6.6 billion in grants, goods and volunteers.

       Religious overseas ministries contributed $3.4 billion, including health care, literacy training, relief and development.

       International giving by US foundations was $1.5 billion

       Charitable giving by US businesses is $2.8 billion annually

It is certainly noteworthy what NGOS and religious overseas ministries, that is generally smaller non profit organizations, are doing in the field of international relief and development. Certainly an argument could be made that these are the organizations that deserve our support, and via whom we'll get the best bang for our buck.

[Source of above statistics: Dr. Carol Adelman, Aid and Comfort, Tech Central Station; Hudson Institute; Budget perceptions: Program on International Policy Attitudes “Americans on Foreign Aid and World Hunger: A Study of U.S. Public Attitudes,”]



Grant Montgomery on Intern'l Aid and Our Global Responsibility