Parade Magazine and Foreign Aid
We often find good resources for our anti-hunger advocacy work in the Sunday newspaper. Often those resources come in the form of an Op-Ed column in the opinion page or a feature on page 6 or 7 or 8 of the front section. This Sunday I found that great resource in a chart published by Parade magazine.
Since many of the Sunday newspapers around the country carry Parade (buried in the mass of glossy advertisements), you might have already seen the chart. It's in the section called Intelligence Report on page 8, with a big headline above the chart entitled Who Gets U.S. Foreign Aid.
As many of us already know, our 2009 Offering of Letters is going to push for a reform of foreign aid. Our effort is going to place an emphasis on making U.S. foreign aid more effective and getting assistance to those who need it the most.
We don't know yet what approach our Bread government relations and organizing staff is going to ask us to take when contacting our members of Congress. But it's very useful to know a bit of background on what policies our country has followed in regards to foreign until now. This is where the chart is very instructive. It lists the top six recipients of foreign aid (Israel, Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, Kenya and South Africa) and the purpose for which the aid is used. In the case of the first four countries, the words "weapons" and "security" are prominent. In the next two, Kenya and South Africa, the key word is HIV/AIDS. If you view the online version of the chart (by clicking on the title), you can get links from the U.S. State Department to information on the next four countries: Mexico, Colombia, Nigeria and Sudan.
I found this chart very interesting. I already knew the basic trends, but I didn't have many of these figures handy. I know that it's going to be very useful background in my Bread for the World advocacy work in 2009.
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