Overview of Foreign Aid

There has been remarkable improvement in the developing countries in the past two decades. Most notably the percentage of the world's population in extreme poverty has declined significantly. The previous very high birth rate in developing countries has diminished greatly. There are multiple reasons for these changes: international and local investors who have created jobs causing a major shift from subsistence farming, the sustained activities of foreign aid institutions, improved governance in some countries, and modern technologies such as cell phones that help foster communication and education.

Despite the progress, there are still huge economic inequities between the rich and poor countries. And there are countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere which have not fully participated in the progress and where poverty and misery remains constant.

The U.S. provides the greatest amount of foreign aid but provides less than many other countries as a percentage of the economy.

The U.S. public has significant misperceptions regarding foreign aid.