What’s in store for US Foreign Aid

Wrapping up the class and this tumultuous year, here are some links on the issues we discussed in the last sessions.

It is still unclear what direction US foreign aid will take under President Trump. There is some hope in the US foreign aid community (e.g. FP, CGD) that at least those programs that have bipartisan support (PEPFAR and MCC) will continue, though maybe with a reduced budget. USAID might be in more dire straights. Aid related to the environment and climate change will most definitely suffer, and, most likely, so will US support for multilateral organizations. The choice for Secretary of State throws up further questions about the future direction of US foreign aid. It might not bode well for democratic movements in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, but, as Devex points out:

ExxonMobil does, however, have a record of working in development as a part of its corporate operations. In 2015, the ExxonMobil Foundation gave $227 million in cash, goods and services to support work in malaria, women’s economic empowerment and other causes.

The future of US commitment to the respect and promotion of human rights around the world is equally unclear, but over at the Monkey Cage there is also an argument that a clearer diving line between the US government and human rights organizations might be a good thing for the latter.

And since we discussed a lot aid effectiveness and the prospects for development and developing countries, here is also the book I mentioned in class – “The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World” by Steven Radelet – documenting the tremendous progress achieved by many developing countries on a range of development outcomes.  This brings us full circle back to Hans Rosling’s TED talk from the beginning of class about the progress achieved in global health in the last decades – which we perhaps too easily forget.

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