U.S. Assistance for Global Development

July 18, 2005

What is U.S. Development Assistance?

U.S. "development assistance" refers to the transfer of resources from the United States to developing countries and to some strategic allies. It is delivered in the form of money (via loans or grants), contributions of goods (such as food aid), and technical assistance. The U.S. gives assistance to other countries for a variety of reasons, not all of them having directly to do with development:

  • National security and foreign policy interests—for example, to Uzbekistan and Pakistan in exchange for use of their territory for military operations in Afghanistan
  • Political development and stability—for conflict prevention, to build peace after conflict, and to strengthen failing states
  • Humanitarian crises—to countries and people suffering famine, recovering from a natural disaster, or displaced by conflict
  • Long-term development purposes—to help countries fight poverty, build roads, educate children, fight health crises, create small businesses, and spur economic growth

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