What We Mean When We Talk About “Foreign Aid”


Foreign aid is one of those issues that is pretty widely mis-understood by the general public. Could you guess the percentage of the US budget that goes to foreign aid? It is probably much less than you think.

So what do we actually mean when we talk about foreign aid? What are some of the real-world implications of a steep reduction of US foreign assistance? And what are the politics of it all?

On the line with me to discuss these questions and more is Joel Charny, US director of the Norwegian Refugee Council, which is a large international NGO on the front lines of some major crises worldwide. He does an excellent job of walking me through the big picture questions surrounding foreign aid and some of the specific on-the-ground implications of what cuts would mean.

He also discusses why this is a uniquely bad time to be cutting back on foreign aid.

If you have 20 minutes and want a fuller understanding of what US foreign aid entails and what cutbacks would mean around the world, have a listen.

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