"The European Recovery Program (ERP), more commonly known as the Marshall Plan (the Plan), was a program of U.S. assistance to Europe during the period 1948-1951. The Marshall Plan-- launched in a speech delivered by Secretary of State George Marshall on June 5, 1947--is considered by many to have been the most effective ever of U.S. foreign aid programs. An effort to prevent the economic deterioration of postwar Europe, expansion of communism, and stagnation of world trade, the Plan sought to stimulate European production, promote adoption of policies leading to stable economies, and take measures to increase trade among European countries and between Europe and the rest of the world. Since its conclusion, some Members of Congress and others have periodically recommended establishment of new 'Marshall Plans'--for Central America, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and elsewhere."
CRS Report for Congress, R45079