NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Heritage Study: U.S. Aids Its Foreign Policy Opponents

June 12, 1998

Foreign aid has little impact, if any, on winning support among recipients for United States policy initiatives in the United Nations, says a new Heritage Foundation study. In fact, most recipients of U.S. foreign aid vote against the United States more often than with it.

Heritage analysts reviewed several years of voting records in the U.N. and U.S. foreign aid spending habits. Among their findings:

  • In the 1997 UN session, 74 percent of U.S. foreign aid recipients voted against the United States a majority of the time -- up from 68 percent in 1996 and 64 percent in 1995 .
  • Of the 10 largest recipients of U.S. foreign aid, six voted against the United States more than half the time, the same level as in the 1996 UN session.
  • Furthermore, the 10 countries with the highest percentage of votes against the United States are scheduled to receive some $230 million in foreign aid in fiscal year 1998 .

Congress has begun work on the FY 1999 appropriations for the U.S. foreign assistance program. U.S. military and security assistance programs, which are restricted mainly to the closest U.S. allies, comprise less than 22 percent of the foreign aid budget. The largest portion of the U.S. foreign aid budget, economic development assistance, goes to many countries that seldom support U.S. foreign policy initiatives.

Source: Bryan T. Johnson, "U.S. Foreign Aid and United Nations Voting Records," Backgrounder No. 1186, June 12, 1998, Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002, (202) 546-4400.


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