Foreign aid gets entangled with politics. Foreign aid also includes weapons to unstable governments with a lack of security.
The vast majority of foreign aid goes to Afghanistan and Israel, by far. Even though the poorest countries in the the world, the ones that need it most, receive some of the least aid, if any at all.
Countries that receive the most military and economic assistance foreign aid. (Source)
- Afghanistan $7.2 billion 2. Israel $3.1 billion 3. Jordan $1.3 billion 4. Pakistan $980 million 5. Kenya $891 million
Top 5 poorest countries median income per capita PPP. (Source)
- Liberia $118 2. Burundi $129 3. Mali $165 4. Burkina Faso $168 5. Madagascar $205
Median income per capita PPP is a good measurement because of this: imagine a scatterplot of incomes. Some are going to be very high, some are going to be very low, and most are collected together somewhere in between. If we just took the average, it would be skewed by the very rich and the very poor, which wouldn’t be an accurate indicator of where most people actually are.
PPP is how much purchasing power they have. If the currency is highly inflated, that means incomes are actually lower than they look on paper.
Now let’s see how much foreign aid the poorest countries in the world get in comparison
- Liberia $249 million 2. Burundi $37 million 3. Mali $169 million 4. Burkina Faso $62 million 5. Madagascar $58 million
Now, I get why we supply Afghanistan. We owe them for starting a war that killed 26,000 civilians, the size of a small town. Another number that needs to be taken into account though, is that 75% of the civilian deaths have been at the hands of the taliban. There has been several invitations for the taliban to participate in peace talks with the president of Afghanistan but the taliban has refused, making their own demands that the occupation is ended, blacklists barring them from entering and leaving countries, and “innocent prisoners freed.”
But Israel? The country has the 4th highest life expectancy for men, 7th highest military expenditures, and 6th highest civil war and unrest.
Liberia, on the other hand has: the 3rd largest unemployment rate in the world, 5th highest number of children out of primary school, 6th highest battle related deaths, and 7th longest standard workweek.
So if we’re going to give foreign aid, which I don’t think we should, we should at least give it to places that need it, and not just places we can fund more wars.