Improving U.S. Foreign Aid

Ezra Klein summarizes the findings of a report from the Center for Global Development outlining five steps the U.S. can take to spend less and deliver more in foreign aid.

Before I list the five steps, it’s worth highlighting the fact that, on average, Americans think the U.S. spends 25% of its budget on foreign aid and think 10% would be more appropriate. The real figure? Under 1%.

I wonder how much they think we spend on the military.

Now, in order to maximize that <1%, here are a few steps CGD thinks the U.S. could (should?) take:

1. Stop mandating that 75% of food aid be shipped on U.S. vessels

2. Stop mandating that food aid be American-grown

3. Stop letting aid groups re-sell food aid

4. Stop American agriculture subsidies

5. Stop stipulating the details of aid

H/t: RLQ


About schwartz1983

Medical student. Aspiring public health practitioner.
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One Response to Improving U.S. Foreign Aid

  1. Jason Kerwin says:

    I would replace 1-3 with “stop giving food aid entirely and just do unconditional cash transfers to those in need”. Thanks to Amartya Sen we’ve known for decades that even in severe famine situations the problem is not one of food being unavailable. Indeed in most famines there isn’t even any shortage of food. Moreover, even if a local food shortage were the issue, giving cash would be a weakly dominant strategy – people could simply use it to buy food imports.

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