Since WWII, the United States has been the leader in disbursements of foreign aid around the world almost every year. In 2012, the U.S. sent a staggering $37.7 billion overseas as part of foreign aid. There are a few reasons behind this. Sending foreign aid protects America’s national security and commercial interests—and it promotes humanitarianism.
Some of the primary objectives of sending foreign aid around the world include promoting peace and security ($10.6 billion), investing in people ($10.5 billion), promoting economic growth ($4.4 billion) and assisting in humanitarian causes ($4.1 billion). The top five recipients of U.S. foreign aid in 2012 included Israel ($3.075 billion), Afghanistan ($2.327 billion), Pakistan ($2.102 billion), Iraq ($1.683 billion) and Egypt ($1.557 billion). Israel received a whopping $388 per capita, which is roughly the amount of aid that would be given to each person in Israel.
Can we really afford to be so generous? After all, we have plenty of expenses to cover here at home in the form of providing Social Security benefits, income security, Medicare and quality education. Do our foreign aid contributions around the world yield a justifiable return on investment? Where do you stand? Please share in the comments, and be sure to check out the infographic to learn more about America’s foreign aid contributions around the world.
Read more: Countries That Receive the Most Foreign Aid From the U.S.
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