Sunday, December 20

How much do countries contribute toward global poverty relief?

I FOUND this chart in the notes of The Poor Will Be Glad: Joining the Revolution to Lift the World Out of Povertyby Peter Greer and Phil Smith (p. 273). The original source was Africa Doesn't Matter: How the West Has Failed the Poorest Continent and What We Can Do About It by Giles Bolton (p. 88).

I believe the information is in response to the American self-perception that we are the most generous people in the world. I've heard pundits say, "The world thinks our country isn't generous. But we don't provide our aid through the government, like the Europeans do, but through NGO non-profits. When you consider these charities we are the most generous."

This particular chart does not address how the aid is given nor what kinds of strings are attached to it. IOW, it does not address issues of effectiveness. Such are the subjects of books like The Poor Will Be Glad and Africa Doesn't Matter.

Aid through taxes,
per person
Aid through
charities, per person




















United Kingdom


United States



Sean Meade said...

America's most effective contribution to fighting poverty in this regard is remittances from all of the foreign workers. we're slow now, in the recession, but during normal and boom times, the remittances blow everything else out of the water.

Brad Boydston said...

The foreign worker remittances are obviously key factors in the global war on poverty. They seem to provide economic development for already developing countries. But countries on the extreme end of the poverty continuum can't really send workers abroad. They're in hour-to-hour survival mode.

It would be interesting to factor remittances into the overall formula for tracking these things. I'm guessing that there are a lot of remittances moving out of Sweden and Norway toward Turkey and Africa.