meet in Bangkok this week to hash out a global agreement for tackling climate change, America's generosity to the developing world needs to be put in perspective.
According to the OECD:
In 2008, net ODA (Overseas Development Assistance) by the United States was USD 26 billion, representing an increase of 16.8% in real terms.NYT (h/t GG) reported on Sept. 9 that in 2008:
Despite a recession that knocked down global arms sales last year, the United States expanded its role as the world’s leading weapons supplier. The United States signed weapons agreements valued at $37.8 billion in 2008, or 68.4 percent of all business in the global arms bazaar, up significantly from American sales of $25.4 billion the year before.American arms dealers pull more money out of the developing world ($30 billion) than the US gives back in aid ($26 billion). These figures really put US generosity in perspective.
Italy was a distant second, with $3.7 billion in worldwide weapons sales in 2008, while Russia was third with $3.5 billion in arms sales last year . . . The United States was the leader not only in arms sales worldwide, but also in sales to nations in the developing world, signing $29.6 billion in weapons agreements with these nations, or 70.1 percent of all such deals.
Also consider the fact that EU countries -- the EU economy being of a size similar to that of the US -- gave three times more ODA ($70 billion) in 2008 than the US. Both US and EU agriculture subsidies put the developing world at an economic disadvantage. It is estimated that farm subsidies cost poor countries about USD$50 billion a year in lost agricultural exports. The above photo, by Jotman, shows a Laotian girl at work in a rice field. Thirty-seven percent of Laos is covered in unexploded ordinance.