The Matter Of Foreign Aid

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The matter of foreign aid is complicated. Through our own policies, the policies of international organizations, and assorted agreements with numerous countries, our role in foreign aid has continued to change over the decades to meet the growing needs of the developing and developed worlds. While we try to aid the developing world to the extent of our capabilities, there are several elements to consider – some of which in the past have often been neglected. When providing aid to countries in need, we fund programs through both Official Development Assistance, hereafter referred to as ODA, and through the financial support of private donors. We rely heavily on partnerships with non-governmental organizations, NGOs, to execute many of our funded programs in other countries, as well as our own agencies such as the Peace Corps. This brief will further explain the general reasoning for and operations of foreign aid, as well as provide you with some past practices of foreign aid which will serve as models of what to do, or in some instances, what not to do, in the future. Foreign aid has not been a formal element of our budget for too long; in fact it’s only been policy and budgeted for just over half a century. This is not to say prior to the 1940s there was no international aid-type involvement; it was just in other conventions and for other purposes. For example, there was humanitarian relief in some European countries, private investment in French and British colonies, and
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