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Obligations
A binding agreement that will result in outlays, immediately or in the future.
Disbursements
Amounts paid by federal agencies, by cash or cash equivalent, during the fiscal year to liquidate government obligations.

Foreign Assistance Fast Facts: FY2009

  • The United States remained the world's largest bilateral donor, obligating approximately $45 billion—$34 billion in economic assistance and $11 billion in military assistance. By comparison, the United States obligated $33 billion and $16 billion, respectively, in 2008.
  • The $34 billion in obligated U.S. economic assistance went to 184 countries. Afghanistan received the most, slightly more than $3 billion, while New Zealand and Norway received the least, just $172 each.
  • The U.S. disbursed $30 billion in economic assistance and $14 billion in military assistance.
  • Afghanistan remained the top recipient of total U.S. economic and military assistance—both obligations and disbursements—for a second year. Iraq had held the top spot 2003–2007.
  • Kenya and West Bank/Gaza were newcomers to the list of top ten recipients (obligations), as Russia and Tanzania dropped to 17th and 22nd, respectively.

Economic Assistance

Funding

  • Nineteen U.S. government agencies funded foreign assistance activities.
  • The five primary agencies providing bilateral foreign assistance are the
    • U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID),
    • State Department,
    • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA),
    • Department of Defense (DoD), and
    • Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
    Combined, these five agencies accounted for about 88 percent of total economic assistance obligations.
FY2009 U.S. Economic Assistance by Funding Agency
(in $US billions)
Funding agency Obligations Disbursements
USAID 12,063 11,398
Department of State 11,743 8,921
Department of Agriculture 2,571 2,565
Department of Defense 1,893 2,203
Department of the Treasury a 1,723 1,724
MCC 1,564 818
Dept of Health and Human Services 868 754
Department of Energy 746 739
Peace Corps 336 272
Department of the Interior 232 232
Department of Labor 65 66
Trade and Development Agency 43 52
African Development Foundation 37 28
Environmental Protection Agency 23 23
Department of Justice 18 12
Inter-American Foundation 17 17
Department of Commerce 5 5
Federal Trade Commission 1 0
Department of Transportation 1 1
SOURCE: USAID Foreign Assistance Database (http://gbk.eads.usaidallnet.gov/).
a. Over 97 percent of the Department of Treasury's economic assistance obligations and disbursements are U.S. contributions to multilateral organizations.
Prepared by USAID Economic Analysis and Data Services.

Recipients—By Region (obligations)

  • Sub-Saharan Africa received the largest share of economic assistance—29 percent.
  • Of the 48 countries that received over $100 million in economic assistance, 22 were in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Of the 184 countries that received economic assistance,
    • 49 were in Europe and Eurasia,
    • 48 were in Sub-Saharan Africa,
    • 36 were in Asia,
    • 31 were in Latin America and the Caribbean,
    • 19 were in the Middle East, and
    • 1 (Canada) was non-regionally specified.
FY2009 Top 5 Recipients by Region of U.S. Economic Assistance
(Obligations, in $US millions)
Country 2008 2009
Asia
Afghanistan 2,880 3,046
Pakistan 605 1,354
Indonesia 194 209
Bangladesh 170 171
Philippines 132 155
Europe and Eurasia
Georgia 264 609
Russia 1,261 396
Serbia 264 182
Ukraine 103 158
Kazakhstan 109 86
Latin America and the Caribbean
Colombia 834 839
Mexico 95 466
Haiti 309 366
Peru 159 148
El Salvador 216 145
Middle East and North Africa
Iraq 3,317 2,253
West Bank/Gaza 575 1,039
Jordan 578 578
Egypt 201 483
Morocco 515 236
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sudan 997 1,174
Ethiopia 995 939
Kenya 717 917
South Africa 567 570
Burkina Faso 45 508
SOURCE: USAID Foreign Assistance Database (http://gbk.eads.usaidallnet.gov/).
Prepared by USAID Economic Analysis and Data Services.

Recipients—By World Bank Income Group (obligations)

  • Lower-middle income countries received almost a third of all U.S. economic assistance, more than any other group.
FY2009 Top 5 Recipients by Income Group of U.S. Economic Assistance
(Obligations, in $US millions)
Country 2008 2009
Low Income
Afghanistan 2,880 3,046
Ethiopia 995 939
Kenya 717 917
Burkina Faso 45 508
Uganda 455 470
Low-Middle Income
Iraq 3,136 2,253
Pakistan 605 1,354
Sudan 997 1,174
West Bank/Gaza 575 1,039
Georgia 264 609
Upper-Middle Income
Colombia 834 839
South Africa 567 570
Mexico 95 465
Namibia 131 396
Russia 1,261 396
High Income
Israel 44 52
Poland 2 49
Ireland 0 30
Canada 27 26
Bahamas 19 13
SOURCE: USAID Foreign Assistance Database (http://gbk.eads.usaidallnet.gov/").
NOTE: World Bank Income Groups divide economies according to 2009 GNI per capita, calculated using the World Bank Atlas method. The groups are: low income, $995 or less; lower-middle income, $996–3,945; upper-middle income, $3,946–12,195; and high income, $12,196 or more.
Prepared by USAID Economic Analysis and Data Services.

Implementing Partners (Channel of Aid Delivery)

Funding agencies may choose to implement aid programs themselves or work with other organizations as implementing partners through contracts or other binding agreements. The U.S. government and multilateral organizations—such as the World Bank, United Nations, and World Trade Organization—implement roughly 60 percent of total U.S. economic assistance.