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U.S. Continues to Lead in Foreign Aid Giving, According to OECD Report

2004 amount is double 2000 U.S. aid funding level

Posted: April 12, 2005 AUDIO    

The United States continues to lead other donor countries in providing development assistance, giving more than $19 billion in 2004, informed State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.

The 2004 aid amount was double the amount the United States committed in 2000, Boucher said in an April 11 statement to the press.

Official development assistance (ODA) from the United States is 24 percent of world official aid contributions, he said.

Boucher spoke following the release of a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on world levels of ODA. (See related USINFO article Official Aid to Developing Countries Rose 4.6 Percent in 2004)

The amount of U.S. aid is projected to rise further in 2005, due to contributions to countries affected by the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami disaster and because the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) will begin to expend its funds.

The MCC administers the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), which targets aid to countries that have demonstrated a commitment to making economic and social reforms.

According to the report "fifteen of the twenty-two DAC member countries reported increased ODA in 2004. The United States remained the largest aid donor in volume terms, followed by Japan, France, the United Kingdom and Germany."

Following is State Department spokesman Richard Boucher's April 11 briefing to the press:

AUDIO

(begin transcript)

MR. BOUCHER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It's a pleasure to be here. If I can, I'd like to call your attention to one report being issued, or issued already today, in Paris. That is the OECD, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's announcement of the official summary of development assistance for the year 2004. This report, I think, highlights some of the things that we've talked about here before and that the United States has been trying to make clear on in terms of international assistance to the developing world.

We are pleased to see that official development assistance in 2004 rose to its highest level ever, surpassing $78.6 billion. The aggregate increase there is 4.6 percent. Once again, the United States is leading the major donor countries, with an increase of 14.1 percent in our official development assistance, to more than $19 billion. That means, as we've said before, that since the year 2000 the United States has nearly doubled its aid to the developing world. This also represents a early fulfillment of the -- twice the commitment, sorry -- made by the Monterrey Financing -- made by -- made at the Monterrey Financing for Development Conference by President Bush in 2003.

I'd point out a number of other ways to look at this. Official development assistance from the United States constitutes 24 percent of such assistance in the world. That's the highest share it's been in nearly 20 years. We know these levels are due to rise against significantly in the year 2005 because of the funds we have contributed to tsunami disaster relief and reconstruction and because the Millennium Challenge Account expenditures will be kicking in.

I'd also note this is not part of their official numbers, but that over 50 percent of the funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development in 2003 and 2004 is going to predominantly Muslim nations; that is, countries where 50 percent or more of the population are Muslim.

So I think as we've talked about before here, the United States has a good record on development assistance. We also strive to make sure that our money is spent effectively in helping to galvanize development, galvanize opportunity and galvanize other funds from the private sector and elsewhere; and this report, I think, demonstrates the United States has been and remains a leader in official development assistance overseas.

(end transcript)

 

 

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