U.S. Commitment to Development

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
July 9, 2009

“To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.”
-President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, January 20th, 2009

“We are committed to pursuing peace and prosperity in every corner – not only in the marble halls of governments, but also in the rural villages and distant cities where people strive to live, work, learn, raise families, contribute to their communities, and grow old with dignity. These are universal dreams that we seek to make a reality for more of the world’s people.”
-Secretary Hillary Clinton, Remarks on World Refugee Day, June 20th, 2009

The United Nations reaffirmed the 2002 Monterrey Consensus for development at the International Conference on Financing for Development at Doha in 2008, calling on developing countries to establish sound economic, social and governance policies and calling on developed countries to support these efforts through an open trading system, private capital flows, and development assistance. The United States is working with other donors and multilateral development banks to ensure that all sources of development finance are available to developing countries as we pass through and beyond the global economic crisis. The United States is strongly committed to helping the world's poor through a broad variety of mechanisms. Preliminary 2008 U.S. Official Development Assistance (ODA) indicates that ODA has tripled over the last decade, and President Obama has pledged further increases.[1]

The U.S. Record
  • World’s largest donor of bilateral foreign assistance.
  • World’s largest donor of combined multilateral development assistance.
  • The United States disbursed $26 billion in Official Development Assistance (ODA) in calendar year 2008, a $4.2 billion, or 19% increase from the 2007 level.
  • U.S. bilateral ODA to sub-Saharan Africa increased to $6.5 billion in 2008 from $4.6 billion in 2007.
  • U.S. bilateral ODA to least developed countries increased to $6.9 billion in 2008.
  • $6.4 billion committed to Millennium Challenge poverty reduction Compacts in 18 countries.
  • $25 billion in bilateral and multilateral HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis funding through 2009.
  • $4.4 billion in U.S. humanitarian assistance provided in 2008.
  • Top net goods importer from developing countries at $610 billion in 2008 ($1,089 billion in imports minus $479 billion in exports). Excluding China, net developing country imports total $325 billion in 2008 ($733 billion in imports minus $408 billion in exports).
  • World’s largest provider of private financial flows to the developing world with net capital flows exceeding $99 billion in 2007.

[1] All 2008 ODA data cited are preliminary figures. Final 2008 ODA data will be released in November 2009.

PRN: 2009/697