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Interactive foreign aid map: Who gives what and why

Two leading aid and development experts, Owen Barder and David Roodman, writing in The Guardian pose the question:

How committed are we to development? 

The conservative government in Britain appears to be fairly committed to investing in overseas aid and development, Barder and Roodman noted. Foreign aid is popular across the political stripes in Britain, they write, because:

It reflects an understanding that it is ultimately in the national interest to support development, as well as being the right thing to do.

For whatever reason, there appears no such consensus in the United States — at least in Congress. Many political leaders, largely but not only conservative Republicans, want to cut foreign aid (even though it represents less than 1 percent of the federal budget).

Whatever you think of foreign aid and/or development, the interactive map pictured below produced by The Guardian will be of interest.

It shows overall funding amounts as well as types of aid and development spending by Western nations. The United States is not, as many people believe, one of the top donors when it comes to a per capita (or per GDP) ranking. Also note the proportional difference in military — security — spending by countries as compare to other countries. I’ve noted before how much of our “aid” is actually military spending, which some would argue isn’t really aid at all.

For the data behind the map, go to the Center for Global Development to download the report Commitment to Development Index 2011.

Go here for the map. Below is just a screen grab.

The Guardian

About Author

Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at] or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.