U.S. Foreign Assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean [Updated March 30, 2005]   [open pdf - 442KB]

From the Summary: "U.S. foreign assistance programs to developing nations began in earnest after the conclusion of World War II. Trends in U.S. assistance to the region generally reflect the trends and rationales for U.S. foreign aid programs globally. Aid to the region increased during the 1960s with the Alliance for Progress and during the 1980s with aid to Central America. Since 2000, aid levels have again increased, especially in the Andean region as the focus has shifted from Cold War issues to counternarcotics and security assistance. Current aid levels to Latin America and the Caribbean comprise 11.4% of the worldwide aid budget, representing an increase over levels ten years ago of 8.2%. Aid levels to the region could increase further as new presidential initiatives -- the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Millennium Challenge Account -- are implemented. [...] The annual Foreign Operations Appropriation bills have been the vehicles by which Congress provides funding for foreign assistance programs. Congress provided $17.5 billion out of the President's $18.8 billion international affairs request for FY2004. The President requested $21.3 billion for FY2005, with increases mainly due to the Millennium Challenge Account and the Global Aids Initiative. The FY2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 4818/P.L. 108-447) provided $19.64 billion for the foreign assistance budget worldwide. Congress has expressed concerns about a number of related issues, including the general effectiveness of foreign aid programs, and how best to address the HIV/AIDS problem and poverty issues. Congress has also debated the U.S. role in fighting narcotics trafficking and illegally armed groups in Colombia, as well as stabilizing the situation in Haiti."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32487
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