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White House Proposes Overhaul of Foreign Aid

September 18, 1993|From The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — A Clinton Administration review of U.S. foreign aid programs has concluded they are often wasteful, incoherent and inconsistent with the Administration's objectives, and proposes a radical overhaul that would abandon country-by-country funding.

In a report to Cabinet-level officials, an interagency study team said the most effective way to reform the nation's aid programs would be to define about 10 "national goals" such as "transition from communism to democracy" and "nonproliferation and arms control" and allocate money to them, rather than to countries.

That would depart from the traditional way of doling out aid, in which funds have gone to projects in foreign countries based on need, lobbying clout or the perceived value of those countries as friends of the United States.

The study recognized that such a radical change would encounter strong opposition in Congress, especially because it probably would reduce aid to both Israel and Egypt.

The United States is spending $27.7 billion on foreign assistance this fiscal year, the study said.

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