Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Chart this

I probably don't have permission to post this, so please, no one report me to the Economist. I visit their website regularly and would be very sad if I were no longer a welcome guest. I tried to do it the legit way and it didn't work so I'm left to my own devices.

By the way, Falling short, it's their title, not mine.

Falling short

Apr 8th 2008

NORWAY is the most generous rich country, giving nearly 1% of its national income in foreign aid in 2007. Total net aid from the 22 countries of the OECD development assistance committee fell by over 8% to $103.7 billion as debt-relief payments tapered off. Each country gave an average of 0.45% of GDP, some way off the UN target of 0.7%. Only five countries achieved this. America, the biggest total donor, is miserly compared with most other countries.


This is, in part, what I was trying to get to the other day and didn't express clearly. How many of you have heard how much we give in foreign aid? Heard the government lament about how much we spend on helping other countries? Well, it's true, $21.8 billion is a lot of money, but no one who complains about how much we give ever mentions that proportionally, we actually do a lot less than many other countries. That's what I was trying to get to - we frame things, we gloss them over and we lie. Yes, yes, you're right, maybe everyone does.


beth said...

I was wondering if you know if this pole takes into account all the money that private citizens give. . .i.e. - I just read on the internet that the show American Idol just gave millions to I think it was Africa (I'm not sure of where or how much) or how much hollywood people like Angelia Jolie or Oprah give to foreign aid? And, are things like our Doctors without Borders aid included too. . .I'm not being sartastic at all, I'm just wondering what factors they use to get their results.

Nicole said...

Beth - Doctors without Borders is not ours, it was founded by a group of French doctors and journalists in the 70's and later went on to become international - but it's not American, although there is a US chapter. As for charitable donations from actors, no, it's not factored in, and I don't think it should be - that's one individual giving a charitable donation, which happens in many countries. Yes, I know, there are more of them in the US. But no, it's just about the percentage of a country's Gross Domestic Product being used for foreign aid.

beth said...

I know that doctors without borders is not just an American thing - I just happen to know of several American doctors who donate a lot of their time to this organization - I was just wondering what they factored in -- thanks for the info