Countries from the Middle East continue to be the top recipients of US non-military financial aid according to the report for 2009 of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
The stats do not include the money going to the region through the military budget /the official and the black one/.
Middle East has been absorbing billions of dollars of financial assistance for years. The question for the US is: can the region be weaned away from this welfare?
Part of the budget is a humanitarian aid like the one needed in the situation caught in a picture from the USAID report.
The man was displaced by the military offensive launched in late April by the Pakistan military against the Taliban. He carries food supplies donated by USAID as he makes his way from the Swabi internally displaced people (IDP) camp to a transport that will return him home.
The United States remains the largest donor of official development assistance in the world. Significant part of the aid budget is the investment in people. Training them and making them self-sufficient. Much like the Work First program that Bill Clinton signed in 1996 to reform the welfare in the USA. Today volunteers and humanitarian workers are trying to teach the folks in the Middle East how to thrive by themselves. Here are some colorful examples from the USAID report.
The cover of the report depicts Afghan farmers that harvest wheat in a field on the outskirts of Kabul. Nearly 80 percent of Afghans earn their living by farming. USAID’s agriculture programs—active in all 34 provinces—promote alternatives to illicit poppy production.
Graduates of Afghanistan’s Kunar Construction Center, funded in part by USAID, received vocational training in carpentry, masonry, electrical work, and painting. First launched in 2008, the center has graduated more than 500 students, many of whom have found jobs in the country’s construction industry.
May be after few years we may get some money back. Remember what Barack Obama said on the first Presidential debate with John McCain:
Let me tell you another place to look for some savings. We are currently spending $10 billion a month in Iraq when they have a $79 billion surplus.
US sure could use some savings with the wild debt we are running.