Home  /  FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


Please use the below links to drill to your answer:

The ForeignAssistance.gov website provides a view of U.S. Government foreign assistance funds and enables users to examine, research, and track aid investments in a standard and easy-to-understand format.

The ForeignAssistance.gov website was initiated by the Department of State and USAID under the policy guidance of the National Security Council. Future iterations of the site will be developed in consultation with U.S. Government agencies receiving or implementing foreign assistance.

Please Contact Us to report incorrect data, broken links, or other technical or usability issues or to ask a question regarding foreign assistance data. Before contacting us, you may be able to find the answer to your question in the list of Frequently Asked Questions. For questions about the federal government not related to ForeignAssistance.gov, visit USA.gov or call 1(800) FED INFO (1-800-333-4636) (8am - 8 pm ET Monday - Friday).

The U.S. Government has a long history of providing foreign assistance to respond to global needs, assist people overseas struggling to build a better life, and make the world safer. It is this compassion and action that stands as a hallmark of the U.S. and reflects the true character of this nation.

According to Section 634(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended:

(b) For purposes of this section—

  1. "foreign assistance" means any tangible or intangible item provided by the United States Government to a foreign country or international organization under this or any other Act, including but not limited to any training, service, or technical advice, any item of real, personal, or mixed property, any agricultural commodity, United States dollars, and any currencies of any foreign country which are owned by the United States Government; and
  2. "provided by the United States Government" includes, but is not limited to, foreign assistance provided by means of gift, loan, sale, credit, or guaranty.


In simpler terms, official foreign assistance is the unilateral transfers of U.S. resources (funds, goods, and services) by the U.S. Government to or for the benefit of foreign entities (including international and regional organizations) without any reciprocal payment or transfer of resources from the foreign entities. Foreign assistance is not just confined to funds or commodities, it also includes the provision of technical assistance, capacity building, training, education, and other services, as well as the direct costs required to implement foreign assistance.

The designation of foreign assistance is based on whether foreign entities receive direct benefits from programs supported by U.S. Government resources without paying for them. U.S. transfers to international or regional organizations where the U.S. reaps direct benefits from the operation of the organization do not qualify as foreign assistance. While authorized primarily under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, U.S. Government foreign assistance is also authorized by other legislation.

With the mandates of the U.S. Government’s Open Government Initiative, Paris Declaration, and the Accra Agenda for Action, the U.S. Government is required to make information on foreign assistance programs more transparent. Together, these initiatives will:

  • Contribute to greater understanding on the part of the tax-paying public of the depth and breadth of the U.S. Government’s work in international development;
  • More actively engage stakeholders in the foreign assistance dialogue as both successes and failures are appropriately noted and analyzed;
  • Make U.S. Government foreign assistance data available to implementing partners to inform their efforts as they work side by side with us to address development challenges;
  • Help donor countries coordinate, simplify procedures and share information to avoid duplication;
  • Assist host country governments so they are in a better position to manage their own country systems and aid flows; and,
  • Put foreign assistance information in the hands of people who benefit from U.S. Government assistance – thus empowering them with information that could lead to viable solutions.

Each of these websites represents different funding timeframes and reporting parameters than what is contained on the ForeignAssistance.gov website. For more information on the type of data represented on the site visit the About the Data page.

The ForeignAssistance.gov website includes foreign assistance budget planning, obligation, spent and transaction data for U.S. Government agencies that are currently reporting. The data comes from a variety of agency budgetary, accounting, and procurement systems.

No, the country pages are not a complete view of the foreign assistance benefitting a particular country. In the Congressional appropriation, some funds are not appropriated at the country level. These funds are appropriated to Washington based offices for subsequent allocation to field offices, regional offices, or worldwide programs. Some of these funds are programmed to benefit multiple countries or a regional or worldwide program and cannot be represented on the country page.

ForeignAssistance.gov is not an accounting tool, but a way to help the U.S. Government be more transparent. Thus, it may not always be possible to trace funded amounts through the stages of the U.S. financial processes (appropriation, obligation, disbursement) on a dollar for dollar basis within the site's data.

Data types available for the U.S. Government agencies that are currently displayed on ForeignAssistance.gov can be found here.


ForeignAssistance.gov aims to eventually integrate all U.S. Government foreign assistance budget, financial, and program data. Please continue to check back as the site is expanded to incorporate additional data sets.

Updates will be made on a continuous basis as more data becomes available from additional U.S Government agencies and for additional fiscal years. Agencies update their own internal data sets on different schedules. Please continue to check back for additional data sets.

ForeignAssistance.gov contains the most recent publicly available foreign assistance data for the contributing agencies.

The ForeignAssistance.gov website contains a large data set, which has been organized in a few standard charts and graphs. However, all of the raw data is available for users to query and sort in customizable ways. Use the "Data Query" tool to create a customized data set by selecting a set of variables or by exporting the entire data set to Excel or CSV.

To implement Foreign Assistance programs, U.S. Government agencies typically partner with a wide variety of organizations, including private voluntary organizations (PVOs), local and regional nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), private sector companies, and public international organizations (PIOs).

Offices based in the United States (primarily but not exclusively in Washington, D.C.) are organized around both regional and functional offices. These offices provide support to overseas offices, program globally-focused activities, and assist in providing overall policy guidance and program oversight. Funds initially allocated to these offices are subsequently allocated to overseas offices or to worldwide programs. These offices manage and implement the allocated foreign assistance funds through programs that benefit countries, regions or the world.

There are instances when funds are de-obligated from a program or activity due to changes in scope of activities. A de-obligation is an agency’s cancellation or downward adjustment of previously incurred obligations. De-obligated funds may be re-obligated within the same time period. Negative disbursements appear for reconciliations and corrections in OECD codes.

The ForeignAssistance.gov website plans to include project level information in the future, which will include details on which contractors, non-governmental organizations, or grantees are receiving federal funds to conduct foreign assistance projects. Until the data is available, project information is available on U.S. Government agency websites such as USAID.gov and MCC.gov.

ForeignAssistance.gov currently contains only data from 2005 to the present. Foreign Assistance data prior to this can be found on the U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants Database (also known as the “Greenbook”) (http://gbk.eads.usaidallnet.gov/). The Greenbook includes U.S. foreign assistance to the rest of the world by reporting all loans and grants authorized by the U.S. Government for each fiscal year. Please note that the Greenbook content differs from the current data on ForeignAssistance.gov since they represent different points in time in the budget process and different reporting parameters.

No. An Organizational Unit (OU) is responsible for the management of foreign assistance funds allocated to its mission and objectives, whereas a beneficiary is the direct or indirect recipient of the assistance benefits. Organizational Unit is a term of reference used to designate an entity responsible for planning and management of foreign assistance programs. Currently on the Dashboard, information identified with country-specific OUs may not capture all funds or activities originating from regional or functional OUs. Regional and functional OUs manage programs that benefit a number of countries, and may include flows to multilateral organizations as well as individual nations. Over time, the Dashboard will include the allocation of regional and functional OU programs to particular countries and organizations.

As the lead U.S. foreign affairs agency, the U.S. Department of State has over 265 diplomatic locations around the world, including embassies, consulates, and missions to international organizations. The Department also maintains diplomatic relations with most countries in the world, as well as with many international organizations.

The Secretary of State, the ranking member of the Cabinet and fourth in line of presidential succession, is the President's principal advisor on foreign policy and the person chiefly responsible for representing the United States abroad. The primary goal of the Secretary of State and the U.S. Department of State is to shape a freer, more secure, and more prosperous world through formulating and implementing the President's foreign policy, while supporting and protecting American interests abroad.

On September 15, 1789, Congress passed "An Act to provide for the safe keeping of the Acts, Records, and Seal of the United States, and for other purposes." This law changed the name of the Department of Foreign Affairs to the Department of State because certain domestic duties were assigned to the agency. These included:

  • Receipt, publication, distribution, and preservation of the laws of the United States;
  • Preparation, sealing, and recording of the commissions of Presidential appointees;
  • Preparation and authentication of copies of records and authentication of copies under the Department's seal;
  • Custody of the Great Seal of the United States;
  • Custody of the records of the former Secretary of the Continental Congress, except for those of the Treasury and War Departments.

Other domestic duties that the Department was responsible for at various times included issuance of patents on inventions, publication of the census returns, management of the mint, control of copyrights, and regulation of immigration. Most domestic functions have been transferred to other agencies. Those that remain in the Department are: storage and use of the Great Seal, performance of protocol functions for the White House, drafting of certain Presidential proclamations, and replies to public inquiries.

Please visit the Department of State's Office of the Historian page for more information.

No. The majority of the PEPFAR budget is accounted for within the DOS/USAID planned data; however, reporting of expenditures is the responsibility of the implementing agent, which often times is under the purview of another U.S. Government agency.

The Department of State foreign assistance efforts span across the globe. Because of this global reach, the Department of State programs often impact more than one specific country, particularly for regional or functional bureaus. Over time, this area of reporting will improve.

The Department of State developed common definitions to describe and account for foreign assistance programs. Sometimes these program areas are directed to serve multiple purposes and do not fit into one specific sector framework. Over time, this area of reporting will improve.

Activities of the State Department abroad are wide-ranging and include offering services whose beneficiaries are U.S. citizens, such renewing passports, as well as diplomatic or operational activities, which are not considered foreign assistance.

No, it does not. During the Department’s budget process, certain foreign assistance programs, such as PEPFAR, are appropriated to the Department of State and then transferred to other agencies to be implemented by those agencies.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and information considered sensitive according to the six Principled Exceptions enumerated in OMB Bulletin 12-01 have been redacted and the information removed replaced with the word “Redacted.”

The Department of State and USAID’s foreign assistance budgets are requested and appropriated jointly. The funds for State and USAID are not disaggregated at the request stage of the funding process. Agency- specific data for State and USAID will be available at the Obligated and Spent phases of the funding process, and for USAID are available at Where Does USAID’s Money Go? and Foreign Assistance Fast Facts.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent federal government agency whose mission is to advance broad-based economic growth, democracy and human progress around the world.

Since its inception in 1961, USAID has carried out U.S. foreign policy by promoting broad-scale human progress in the developing world, at the same time it expands stable, free societies, creates markets and trade partners for the United States, and fosters good will abroad.

For more information see USAID's Who We Are.

The Department of State and USAID’s foreign assistance budgets are requested and appropriated jointly. The funds for State and USAID are then disaggregated at the obligation and spent stages of the funding process when the appropriated funds are allocated to Agency-specific programs and activities.

Following the success of the reconstruction of Europe after World War II through the Marshall Plan and the Truman Administration's Point Four Program -- the 1950 program to engage in technically-based international economic development -- President John F. Kennedy signed the Foreign Assistance Act into law in 1961 and USAID was created by executive order. Since that time, USAID has been the principal U.S. agency to extend assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms.

Please visit USAID History for more information.

The source of information for populating the ForeignAssistance.gov website data fields is USAID’s accounting system of record, used in headquarters and missions overseas. As with all accounting systems, credits and debits are posted daily.

  • Individual records: For an individual record, negative obligations or disbursements result when adjustments are made in the current quarter to a previous transaction. Most commonly, a negative obligation represents a downward adjustment to an obligation made in a prior period. The downward adjustment or “de-obligation” may result from a correction to an erroneous posting made in a prior period or the cancelation of a prior award. A negative disbursement is commonly a refund or reimbursement of unused funds, or a correction to an erroneous posting made in a prior period.
  • Aggregate records: Since reports are made quarterly to the ForeignAssistance.gov website, negative obligations for a country, sector or operating unit occur when negative adjustments (“de-obligations”) are larger than positive new obligations made in the quarter. Likewise, negative disbursements arise when more money is collected or reimbursed than was paid out in actual disbursements.

Definitions of obligations and disbursements can be found on the site here.

The Recipient Geographical Area (RGA) data field identifies the country or geopolitical entity that is receiving the development or humanitarian assistance.

Funds are classified as "worldwide" when, at the time of obligation, it is not possible to identify the ultimate recipient of the development or humanitarian assistance. An example is bulk commodity procurements of items that will later be distributed to multiple locations. In addition, general operating expenses (i.e. direct hire salaries and benefits) and administrative funds (i.e. office supplies) are designated as "worldwide."

A deobligation is defined as a “downward adjustment of previously recorded obligations”. GAO Glossary of Terms Used in the Federal Budget Process

MCC

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is an innovative and independent U.S. foreign aid agency that is helping lead the fight against global poverty.

Created by the U.S. Congress in January 2004 with strong bipartisan support, MCC is changing the conversation on how best to deliver smart U.S. foreign assistance by focusing on good policies, country ownership, and results.

MCC provides these well-performing countries with large-scale grants to fund country-led solutions for reducing poverty through sustainable economic growth. MCC grants complement other U.S. and international development programs. There are two primary types of MCC grants: compacts and threshold programs.

  • Compacts are large, five-year grants for countries that pass MCC’s eligibility criteria.
  • Threshold programs are smaller grants awarded to countries that come close to passing these criteria and are firmly committed to improving their policy performance.

MCC is managed by a chief executive officer, who is part of the nine-member Board of Directors. The Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the U.S. Trade Representative, and the USAID Administrator serve on the board along with four private sector representatives.

MCC is a prime example of smart U.S. Government assistance in action, benefiting both developing countries and U.S. taxpayers through:

  • Competitive selection: Before a country can become eligible to receive assistance, MCC’s Board examines its performance on 17 independent and transparent policy indicators and selects compact-eligible countries based on policy performance.
  • Country-led solutions: MCC requires selected countries to identify their priorities for achieving sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. Countries develop their MCC proposals in broad consultation within their society. MCC teams then work in close partnership to help countries refine a program.
  • Country-led implementation: MCC administers the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). When a country is awarded a compact, it sets up its own local MCA accountable entity to manage and oversee all aspects of implementation. Monitoring of funds is rigorous and transparent, often through independent fiscal agents.

MCC has approved over $7.4 billion in compact and threshold programs worldwide that support country-determined projects in such sectors as:

  • agriculture and irrigation,
  • transportation (roads, bridges, ports),
  • water supply and sanitation,
  • access to health,
  • finance and enterprise development,
  • anticorruption initiatives,
  • land rights and access,
  • access to education.

The aggressive implementation of compacts and threshold programs is promoting growth opportunities, opening markets, raising the standard of living, and creating a more prosperous future for some of the world’s poorest people:

  • More than 87,000 farmers have been trained and more than 12,000 hectares of land are under production.
  • More than 3,362 kilometers of roads are under design, and road construction is underway.
  • Over $29 million disbursed in agricultural loans.

MCC’s planning process begins with determining whether a country is eligible to enter into a multi-year threshold or compact program (see glossary for definitions). MCC’s selection process takes into consideration the number of countries meeting eligibility criteria and follows a four step process: identify candidate countries; publish criteria and methodology process; issue country scorecards; and select countries.

The Treasury Department is the executive agency responsible for promoting economic prosperity and ensuring the financial security of the United States. The Department is responsible for a wide range of activities such as advising the President on economic and financial issues, encouraging sustainable economic growth, and fostering improved governance in financial institutions. The Department works with other federal agencies, foreign governments, and international financial institutions to encourage global economic growth, raise standards of living, and to the extent possible, predict and prevent economic and financial crises. Through its role within the international financial institutions, Treasury supports projects to curb food insecurity and environmental degradation, to build regional infrastructure projects, and to alleviate poverty. The Treasury Department also performs a critical and far-reaching role in enhancing national security by implementing economic sanctions against foreign threats to the U.S., identifying and targeting the financial support networks of national security threats, and improving the safeguards of our financial systems.

The Treasury Department was formally established as an executive department by the First Congress of the United States in 1789, to manage government finances. However, even before the formal establishment of the Department, functions such as administering the revolutionary government’s finances and then managing the finances of the new nation were being carried out.

Please visit the Department of the Treasury’s History Page for more information.

The United States is a member of several multilateral development institutions, including the:

  • African Development Bank
  • Asian Development Bank
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • Inter-American Development Bank
  • International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • North American Development Bank
  • World Bank

The multilateral development institutions are owned by member countries and provide financial and technical assistance to emerging markets and developing countries. The United States is the largest shareholder in the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank, the co-largest shareholder (with Japan) at the Asian Development Bank, and the largest non-regional shareholder of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the African Development Bank.

In the United States Government, Treasury is charged with leading the United States’ engagement in the multilateral development institutions. For the five largest institutions, the United States appoints an Executive Director (USED), who is based at the institution and represents U.S. interests. Treasury works closely with the USEDs and a wide-ranging interagency group on development institution issues, with the Department of State and USAID playing important roles.

Most of the multilateral development institutions have two financing facilities, which are frequently referred to as “windows,” from which they make loans and provide grants:

  • The “soft loan” window is for concessional lending that provides loans on highly favorable terms (e.g., extremely low or no interest, long repayment periods) or grants to countries that have very low per-capita income levels or are unable to borrow from private markets. These are the “soft loan” or concessional windows for each multilateral development institution:
    • African Development Fund (African Development Bank)
    • Asian Development Fund (Asian Development Bank)
    • Fund for Special Operations (Inter-American Development Bank)
    • International Development Association (World Bank)

Because the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is private sector-oriented, it does not have a “soft loan” window.

  • The “hard loan” window is for non-concessional lending that provides loans to middle-income countries, such as Colombia and Botswana, and some creditworthy low-income countries, such as Indonesia and Nigeria, at market-based interest rates. These are the “hard loan” or non-concessional windows for each multilateral development institution:
    • Asian Development Bank
    • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
    • Inter-American Development Bank
    • The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank)

Countries are referred to as “shareholders” in an MDB and hold a certain percentage of shares based on their contributions. At times, shareholders provide new funding to support the hard loan or soft loan windows. This funding can take three forms:

  • Capital replenishments
  • General capital increases
  • Selective capital increases

  • Capital Replenishments: Because financing for the “soft loan” windows is provided on such generous terms to the very poorest countries, concessional funds need to be replenished every three to four years.

  • General Capital Increases: Under a general capital increase (GCI), MDB shareholder governments agree to increase capital to support the MDBs “hard loan” windows by purchasing additional shares in the institution. Unlike replenishments, GCIs happen infrequently because these windows are largely self-financing. Periodically however, MDBs will seek to bolster their capital in order to increase or sustain lending levels.

    The financing arrangements for GCIs are unique. Unlike replenishments, only a small portion of the total commitment is paid directly to an MDB. This portion is called “paid-in” capital, and typically ranges from 5-10 percent of the total increase. The pay-in period often ranges significantly (e.g., from three to eight years).

    The remainder of the commitment is made in the form of “callable capital.” Callable capital represents a pledge made by shareholders, but there is no actual transfer of funds. These commitments are meaningful because they enable the MDBs to borrow against them, and, in turn, lend to borrowers at rates lower than what they could obtain in the markets. An MDB can only seek the transfer of callable capital to its own accounts in the unlikely event that it becomes unable to access private capital markets or use its own resources to cover obligations on its own loans (i.e., funds borrowed on the market) or on loans it has guaranteed. No MDB has ever sought such a transfer of callable capital.

  • Selective Capital Increases: Selective capital increases (SCI) have not been used as a fundraising vehicle, but instead to allocate new shares to eligible members based on economic weight, financial contributions and development contributions. An SCI is a means of realigning shareholding to alter an MDB’s decision making. Unlike a GCI, where shares are allocated to members in proportion to their existing shareholding, SCI realignment is done on a non-proportional basis and can be used to help better reflect global trends and ensure that the poorest countries have a voice.

Negotiations for new capital are not limited to questions of financing needs. In fact, the United States has used the opportunity created by capital increase negotiations to pursue a robust agenda for new policy commitments from the MDB and other shareholders. The United States has consistently used its leadership position to advocate for new initiatives designed to strengthen development effectiveness. Typically, Treasury focuses on policies to strengthen transparency, safeguards, governance, accountability, and results. Recently, Treasury has also emphasized the need for policies to strengthen fiscal discipline within the MDBs and to protect capital. In addition, Treasury has successfully pressed for MDBs to transfer an increasing share of profits from the hard loan windows to the soft loan windows that support the poorest countries. These transfers achieve two important objectives: they help the MDBs maintain their focus on the neediest borrowers and they reduce the financial burden on shareholders.

  • General Capital Increases (GCIs): When a shareholder fails to purchase the shares that it committed to buy in the capital increase negotiations, the relative shareholding of that country can become diluted and its voting power in the institution may decrease.

  • Replenishments: When a country does not provide the full amount of its commitment on time, it deprives borrowing countries of resources and encourages other countries to scale back their commitments and withhold their contributions. This has a particularly significant impact in the institutions that provide support for the poorest countries (International Development Association, the Asian Development Fund, and the African Development Fund).

The mission of the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) is to support the development of strong financial sectors and sound public financial management in countries where both assistance is needed and there is a strong commitment to reform.

Since its creation in 1990, OTA has helped many countries develop and implement market-based financial policies and management practices that support growing economies and stable democracies. Although OTA focuses on the public sector, the benefits of improved public financial management serve the wider community, including citizens, private enterprise, and other interests in the economy at large. A government that manages the public purse with integrity and effectiveness not only delivers essential services better, it also builds credibility with its citizens and throughout the world.

OTA expert advisors work directly with their counterparts in finance ministries, central banks, tax departments and other public sector financial institutions. Assistance may be provided on a sustained basis by resident advisors or by intermittent advisors who travel overseas for short-term assignments.

For more information visit www.TreasuryOTA.us.

The Department of Defense (DOD) is the successor agency to the National Military Establishment created by the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 401). It was established as an executive department of the Government by the National Security Act Amendments of 1949 with the Secretary of Defense as its head (5 U.S.C. 101). Since that time, many legislative and administrative changes have occurred, evolving the Department into the structure under which it currently operates.

The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country. The department's headquarters is at the Pentagon.

The Department is also the largest employer in the world with more than 3.2 million servicemen and servicewomen, plus the civilians that support them.

Under the President, who is also Commander in Chief, the Secretary of Defense exercises authority, direction, and control over the Department, which includes the separately organized military departments of Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Currently the Dashboard includes preliminary data for Title 10 Security Sector Assistance (SSA) programs. Both Title 10 and Title 22 refer to sections of The Code of Laws of the United States of America, or United States Code (U.S.C.), which is the backbone of US legislation, comprised of all general and permanent federal laws.

Title 10, titled “Armed Forces,” governs the form, function, duties, and responsibilities of all US Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, as well as the Reserves. Title 10 is organized into five subtitles and 1,805 chapters. Each subtitle includes provisions on force structure, personnel, training and education, and service, supply, and procurement. Title 22, titled “Foreign Relations and Intercourse,” governs how the US conducts its foreign diplomatic relations and includes provisions on the Department of State, foreign assistance, and public diplomacy efforts.

The principal goals of Security Sector Assistance (SSA) are to:

  • Help partner nations build sustainable capacity to address common security challenges, specifically to: disrupt and defeat transnational threats; sustain legitimate and effective public safety, security, and justice sector institutions; support legitimate self-defense; contribute to U.S. or partner military operations which may have urgent requirements; maintain control of their territory and jurisdictional waters including air, land and sea borders; help indigenous forces assume greater responsibility for operations where U.S. military forces are present.
  • Promote partner support for U.S. interests, through cooperation on national, regional and global priorities, including, but not limited to, such areas as: military access to airspace an basing rights; improved interoperability and training opportunities; an cooperation on law enforcement. Counterterrorism, counternarcotics, combating organized crime and arms trafficking, countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, intelligence, peacekeeping, and humanitarian efforts.
  • Promote universal values, such as good governance, civilian oversight of security forces, rule of law, transparency, accountability, delivery of fair and effective justice, and respect for human rights.
  • Strengthen collective security and multinational defense arrangements and organizations, including by helping to build the capacity of troop-and-police-contributing nations to United Nations and other multilateral peacekeeping missions, as well as through regional exercises, expert exchanges, and coordination of regional intelligence and law enforcement information exchanges.

DOD is responsible for ensuring U.S. defense strategy and policy priorities are closely synchronized with Security Sector Assistance (SSA) efforts, especially where a key objective is to strengthen the capacity and willingness of foreign security forces to operate alongside of, in lieu of, or in support of U.S. forces. In these cases, DOD may provide assistance in coordination with the Department of State. DOD plays a critical role in strategic planning, assessment, program design, and implementing SSA programs, and supports SSA interagency processes by providing relevant expertise and information on U.S. national defense objectives.

At the highest level, planning for and prioritization of DoD activities are informed by national-level guidance like the national security strategy and various DoD regional and functional strategies. The State Department and other civilian agencies are deeply involved in setting these objectives so that DoD’s efforts are consistent with U.S. foreign policy goals and complementary of broader U.S. foreign assistance programs. Whether DoD is shaping the security environment in a region to prevent conflict, planning for a contingency, or conducting operations, partnerships play a critical role, which permeates all facets of our defense strategy.

USADF is the only U.S. Government agency 100% dedicated to development in Africa. USADF awards development grants of $250,000 or less directly to community groups and enterprises in Africa. USADF utilizes a participatory, African lead and African managed development model. USADF has no expatriate staff located in Africa. Because USADF is a very small organization (annual budget $30 million) it can move with speed and agility in ways that other larger institutions can’t. This provides USADF with the ability to operate in many remote conflict and post conflict areas across Africa.

The majority of USADF grants focus on increasing food production capabilities and expanding economic growth opportunities for cooperatives and associations involved in agriculture. Increased production, better market access and trade opportunities translate into higher income levels for small holder farmers. Higher incomes in turn give families greater economic independence and access to better social services such as education, healthcare, and housing.

Yes, USADF grants result in increased agricultural production capabilities, improved business and marketing practices and sustained business outcomes. Annual survey data indicates that 80% of USADF grantees continue operations after the grant support ends.

USADF grants are available to non-governmental African organizations, cooperatives, and associations that exist to improve the well-being of their members through engagement in sustainable enterprises such as farming, artisan work, or other value add processing activities. USADF grants are limited to specific countries where USADF has an operational presence.

There are three basic forms of an ADF grant. The “Operational Assistance Grant” (OAG) focuses on developing the group’s internal management, planning and accounting functions so that it is better positioned to effectively use a larger development grant. OAG are limited to $100,000 or less. A second grant type is an “Enterprise Expansion Grant” (EEG). The size of an EEG ranges from $120,000 to $250,000. The EEG is intended to help organizations expand their production and marketing capabilities in order to achieve increased revenues and incomes levels for their members. A third type of grant is called a Cooperative Agreement (CA). The CA typically provides funding for African Partner Organizations that in turn provide technical assistance to OAG and EEG grantees.

President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961. Since then, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries around the world.

Peace Corps Volunteers are committed Americans from all walks of life who spend 27 months living and working in developing countries around the world. A demographic snapshot can be found at: http://www.peacecorps.gov/about/fastfacts/.

Peace Corps Volunteers fill a wide variety of positions throughout the world. The type of work a Volunteer does is ultimately determined by the needs of a host country and the potential of a Volunteer to contribute to those needs and to the Peace Corps' mission. Some examples of sectors where many Volunteers work include education, health, community economic development, environment, agriculture and youth in development.

Peace Corps Volunteers serve in countries around the world. A demographic snapshot, broken down by region, can be found at: http://www.peacecorps.gov/about/fastfacts/.

For more information on becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer, please visit http://www.peacecorps.gov/learn/. There, you can learn about where Volunteers serve, what kind of work they do, and how to apply. You can also reach a local recruiter directly by calling toll-free 855.855.1961.

Donations are accepted through the Peace Corps Partnership Program, which applies 100% of your tax-deductible donation toward a specific project, Special Fund or Country Fund. You can select a specific Volunteer or community project to support by visiting http://donate.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=donate.

A negative obligation represents a downward adjustment to an obligation made in a prior period. A negative disbursement is usually a refund.

Peace Corps volunteer work is diverse and responsive to host country needs at the community level. For example, health volunteers in one country could work in the following sectors (or in any combination of these sectors), HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, maternal and child health, water supply and sanitation and nutrition. Because of the cross sector nature of volunteer activities, the agency has not mapped its financial information below the category level.

All Peace Corps data presented on ForeignAssistance.gov is the best approximation of actual obligations and spending for each country, category and core operational area. Country specific and core operational area data is directly exported from the Agency’s financial system. Obligation and spending by category is estimated by mapping volunteer population levels with financial data. Peace Corps uses the previous year’s volunteer data for quarterly reporting and then restates the data using the current year’s volunteer data at year end. Obligations are the aggregate of all transactions for all relevant appropriations and fund years across the following Standard General Ledger accounts: 1) Undelivered Orders - Obligations, Unpaid, 2) Undelivered Orders - Obligations, Prepaid & Advanced, 3) Delivered Orders - Obligations, Unpaid, and 4) Delivered Orders - Obligations, Paid. Spending is the aggregate of all transactions for all relevant appropriations and fund years within the Standard General Ledger account, Delivered Orders - Obligations, Paid.

The Inter-American Foundation (IAF) is governed by a nine-person board of directors appointed by the president of the United States and confirmed by the Senate. Six members of the board are drawn from the private sector and three from the federal government. The board appoints a president who serves as the IAF’s chief executive officer, managing a staff of 45 employees based in Washington, D.C.

Congress appropriates funds annually for the Inter-American Foundation. The IAF also receives a limited amount from the Social Progress Trust Fund, administered by the Inter-American Development Bank and consisting of payments on U.S. government loans extended under the Alliance for Progress to various Latin American and Caribbean governments. The IAF accepts donations and partners with other public and private institutions to fund grassroots development initiatives in the region.

  • IAF creates economic opportunity. IAF investments catalyze economic activity and create jobs that help improve lives and allow communities to retain their workers and leaders.
  • IAF fosters secure communities. IAF funding complements the work of other U.S. agencies to improve security and rule of law by enabling members of at-risk communities to access income-generating alternatives to crime and create a safe environment that is intolerant of criminal activity.
  • IAF strengthens democratic practices. IAF grantee partners are building a more democratic citizenry and a more inclusive civil society by training and encouraging marginalized communities to exercise their civic responsibilities, respect rights and hold officials accountable.
  • IAF provides a direct link to civil society. Having worked with more than 5,000 grantee partners, the IAF’s credibility and contacts among civil society groups across the region are a valuable resource for the U.S. government and other development organizations.
  • IAF informs investments in development. By evaluating each investment and providing opportunities for learning and exchange among grant recipients, the IAF applies and shares its lessons learned.

  • Expertise: IAF is expert in identifying promising ideas and managing relationships with grassroots groups.
  • U.S. Presence: IAF does not operate through foreign governments. Grant funding is disbursed directly to grantee partners, first vetted by the U.S. embassy. It is often able to continue working in countries where diplomatic relations with the United States are strained.
  • Direct access to civil society: IAF maintains fluid and dynamic communication for grantee partners throughout the grant period.
  • Flexibility: IAF grants can be quickly adapted to address changing contexts on the ground or realize emerging opportunities.
  • Distinct approach: IAF responds to proposals to support local initiatives; it does not design or implement projects.
  • Distinct structure: A bipartisan public-private governing structure assures the IAF works toward the long-term national interest.
  • A focus on economic inclusion: IAF investments help disadvantaged groups take part in economic opportunities created by infrastructure and other large-scale development assistance.
  • A focus on local capacity: The IAF builds local capacity to sustain a development effort beyond IAF funding. A focus on supporting marginalized groups, including women, indigenous peoples, African descendants, children and young people, and people with disabilities.

The IAF uses the term “grassroots development” to describe the process by which disadvantaged people organize themselves to improve the social, cultural and economic well-being of their families, communities and societies. This concept is based on the premise that the key to sustainable democracies, equitable societies and prosperous economies is a people-oriented strategy that stresses participation, organizational development and networking.

  • Innovative solutions to development problems
  • Creative use of the community’s resources
  • Diverse array of community voices in project development and execution
  • Partnership with local government, the business community or other civil society organizations
  • Feasibility
  • Evidence of eventual sustainability
  • Counterpart contributions from the proponent, the beneficiaries and other sources
  • The potential to generate learning for themselves, the IAF and for development practice
  • Potential for strengthening all participating organizations and their partnerships
  • Measurable results
  • Evidence of capacity for self-governance and management

  • Support people, organizations and processes.
  • Channel funds directly to nongovernmental organizations.
  • Promote entrepreneurship, innovation and self-reliance.
  • Strengthen democratic principles and foster responsible citizenship.
  • Empower poor people to take the initiative in solving their problems.
  • Treat partners with respect and dignity.

The IAF holds all grantee partners accountable for the responsible use of U.S. public funds. To gauge the impact of its investment, the IAF systematically tracks the results of its projects with its Grassroots Development Framework (GDF). This measures tangible and intangible results at three levels: for individuals and families, for organizations, and for the community or society at large. Before the project begins, IAF grantee partners select from a menu of 41 indicators and report on their progress twice a year. Independent consultant professionals visit project sites and verify the data. Grantee partners are audited annually. Upon completion of each grant, the IAF conducts a close-out visit, independently evaluates the project and reviews the lessons gleaned from the experience.

Five years after completion, a subset of projects is selected for an ex-post evaluation of their lasting impact on the communities. The IAF returns to project sites to meet with former grantee partners, interview beneficiaries, and collect and analyze data on the same indicators as were registered as baseline data before and during IAF funding. The IAF prepares in-depth reports and posts executive summaries on the IAF website.

  • It knows how to select its partners. The IAF supports grassroots groups with a track record in participatory self-help activities, who are willing to invest and risk their own resources.
  • It responds to local initiatives. The IAF does not design or impose projects; instead, it builds upon the ideas and commitment of local people.
  • It encourages processes that are sustainable, either with revenue generated by grantees or with resources leveraged from private and public sectors.
  • It supports innovative approaches that are replicable, allowing the IAF to increase the impact of activities through a multiplier effect.
  • A lean operating structure keeps overhead to a minimum and maximizes program returns.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is a Federal agency whose mission is to provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management.

USDA’s vision is to expand economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production sustainability that better nourishes Americans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and to preserve and conserve our Nation's natural resources through restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands.

Founded in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act of Congress establishing the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Two and one-half years later, in what would be his final annual message to the Congress, Lincoln called USDA "The People's Department." At that time, about half of all Americans lived on farms, compared with about 2 percent today. But through our work on food, agriculture, economic development, science, natural resource conservation and a host of issues, USDA still fulfills Lincoln's vision - touching the lives of every American, every day.

The Department of Agriculture is made up of seven mission areas aligned to seven major areas of the Department’s mission. Each of these mission areas has two or more USDA agencies, or subcomponents of the Department, with greater focus on the aspects of the Department’s mission. Further descriptions of the mission areas related to foreign assistance activities and the nine USDA agencies that implement the foreign assistance activities follow below.

Mission Area: Natural Resources and Environment

Natural Resources and Environment ensures the health of the land through sustainable management. USDA agencies under this mission area work to prevent damage to natural resources and the environment, restore the resource base, and promote good land management.


Mission Area: Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services

The Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services mission area helps to keep America's farmers and ranchers in business as they face the uncertainties of weather and markets. They deliver commodity, credit, conservation, disaster, and emergency assistance programs that help improve the stability and strength of the agricultural economy.

The Foreign Agricultural Service in this mission area links U.S. agriculture to the world to enhance export opportunities and global food security.

In addition to its Washington, D.C. staff, FAS has a global network of 96 offices covering 169 countries. These offices are staffed by agricultural attachés and locally hired staff who are the eyes, ears, and voice for U.S. agriculture around the world. FAS staff identify problems, provide practical solutions, and work to advance opportunities for U.S. agriculture and support U.S. foreign policy around the globe.


Mission Area: Food Safety

Food Safety ensures that the Nation's commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and properly labeled and packaged. This mission area also plays a key role in the President's Council on Food Safety and has been instrumental in coordinating a national food safety strategic plan among various partner agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The U.S. Codex Office in the Food Safety and Inspection Service agency is an interagency partnership that engages stakeholders in the development and advancement of science-based food standards for the benefit of the United States and the worldwide community.


Mission Area: Research, Education, and Economics

Research, Education, and Economics is dedicated to the creation of a safe, sustainable, competitive U.S. food and fiber system, as well as strong communities, families, and youth through integrated research, analysis, and education. This mission area is also focused on harnessing technologies to improve global food production and food supply monitoring worldwide.


Mission Area: Marketing and Regulatory Programs

The Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP) facilitates domestic and international marketing of U.S. agricultural products and ensures the health and care of animals and plants. MRP agencies are active participants in setting national and international standards.

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) includes six commodity programs-Cotton, Dairy, Fruit and Vegetable, Livestock and Seed, Poultry, and Tobacco. The programs employ specialists who provide standardization, grading, and market news services for those commodities. They enforce such Federal Laws as the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and the Federal Seed Act. More information on AMS can be found here.

Through International Marketing Services, AMS offers an array of valuable services that give buyers and sellers of agricultural products a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

Note: In fiscal year (FY) 2013, AMS did not make any foreign assistance awards but may in future years.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is responsible for protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, administering the Animal Welfare Act, and carrying out wildlife-damage management activities. In recent years, the scope of APHIS' protection function has expanded beyond pest and disease management. Because of its technical expertise and leadership in assessing and regulating the risks associated with agricultural imports, APHIS has assumed a greater role in the global agricultural arena. More information on APHIS can be found here.

To reduce the threat to U.S. agriculture, APHIS’s International Service (IS) cooperates in a number of major surveillance, eradication, and control programs in foreign countries, focusing on nations where economically significant pests or diseases are found. It plays a major role in ensuring that U.S. agricultural exports are accessible to foreign countries and works with countries seeking to establish preclearance programs. IS also represents the U.S. Government in dealing with many international and regional organizations concerned with animal and plant health. More information on IS can be found here.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is USDA’s main in-house scientific research agency. ARS conducts research to develop and transfer solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority and provide information access and dissemination. More information on ARS can be found here.

The Office of International Research Programs (OIRP) is the principle ARS contact for international issues. Its mission is to enhance the productivity, effectiveness, and impact of the ARS National Programs through mutually beneficial international research and development collaborations in agriculture and natural resources science.

Research Internships for Early Career South African Agricultural Scientists is an ARS project that aims to provide, through work experience, cooperative research, and scientific and technology exchange, methodologies useful for solving technical problems within the South African agricultural context and to enhance or establish income-generating opportunities in rural communities.

ARS also has many international research projects. More information can be found here.

The Economic Research Service (ERS) is the main source of economic information and research from the USDA. The mission of ERS is to inform and enhance public and private decision-making on economic and policy issues related to agriculture, food, natural resources, and rural development. More information on ERS can be found here.

ERS specialists within International Agriculture provide wide-ranging research and analysis on production, consumption, and trade of key agricultural commodities and on agricultural policies of countries and regions important to U.S. agriculture, as well as on international trade agreements and food security issues.

The Market and Trade Economics Division at ERS conducts economic research and analysis on U.S. and global economic and policy factors affecting the structure and performance of agricultural markets and trade. The Division monitors market indicators; provides mid- to long-term forecasts of agricultural market conditions; and assesses the technological, economic, policy, and institutional forces that influence U.S. and world agricultural markets.

Note: In fiscal year (FY) 2013, ERS did not make foreign assistance awards but may in future years.

Established in 1905, the Forest Service (FS) manages public lands in national forests and grasslands. The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. More information on FS can be found here.

International Programs of FS coordinates the Forest Service’s international work. It promotes sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation internationally. FS International Programs partners with many types of organizations, large and small, private and public, on a wide range of technical cooperation and policy development issues. It provides technical skills by tapping the expertise of a large number of FS researchers, foresters, wildlife biologists, hydrologists, policymakers, and other specialists. International Programs has three main staff units: Technical Cooperation, Policy, and Disaster Assistance Support Program (DASP).

As a scientific institution, the International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF) at FS is committed to research in tropical forestry and the transfer of technologies. To address aspects of physical, social, and economic issues in managing tropical forests, the IITF has more than 60 years of experience in interdisciplinary research.

The Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry (IPIF) has grown to become a center of research and technology transfer on matters of the management, preservation, and restoration of natural ecosystems and landscapes throughout the Pacific. The Institute's work is conducted by a unique structure of teams that include both scientists funded by FS research and professionals funded through State and Private Forestry and International Forestry.

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) works to improve foreign market access for U.S. products, build new markets, improve the competitive position of U.S. agricultural in the global marketplace, and provide food aid and technical assistance to foreign countries. More information on FAS can be found here.

Information on FAS International Production, Market & Trade Reports and snapshot summary of supply and demand situation for various commodities can be found here.

Global Attaché Information Network (GAIN) is FAS’s web-based system developed to help disseminate agricultural knowledge. Over 3,000 reports submitted per year, GAIN provides timely information on the agricultural economy, products, and issues in foreign countries.

Information on the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) which provides comprehensive forecasts of supply and demand for major U.S. and global crops and U.S. livestock.

Crop Explorer is an FAS tool that offers global food supply monitoring by region or crop via satellite imagery.

Note: In fiscal year (FY) 2013, FAS is reporting only international food aid awards. Other FAS foreign assistance awards will be reported in the future.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the public health agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture responsible for ensuring that the Nation's commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged. More information on FSIS can be found here.

International inspection functions are carried out by the Office of Field Operations (OFO). The international audit function is assigned to the Office of Investigation, Enforcement and Audit (OIEA), to integrate with domestic audit functions. The export and equivalency functions are assigned to Office of Policy and Program Development (OPPD).

Note: In fiscal year (FY) 2013, FSIS did not make foreign assistance awards but may in future years.

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) addresses many challenges facing the Nation through exemplary agricultural science. NIFA works with the best and brightest scientists at universities and colleges throughout the United States and around the world to find innovative solutions to issues related to agriculture, food, the environment, and communities. With a timely, integrated approach and collaboration with other Federal science agencies, NIFA also serves as a vital contributor to Federal science policy decision-making. More information on NIFA can be found here.

Center for International Programs (CIP)

With today’s increasingly global society, USDA and its partner American colleges and universities must play a major role in preparing U.S. citizens to work and succeed in a rapidly changing world. NIFA’s Center for International Programs office is working with universities to find ways of engaging students, faculty, and staff in the world outside our borders.

National Initiative to Internationalize Extension

The National Initiative to Internationalize Extension is a 3-year program funded by NIFA to strengthen the international dimension of State extension programs. The initiative hopes to bring attention to the urgent need for engagement with American audiences around global issues, interdependence, and the critical role that extension can play in today's world.

International Science and Education (ISE) Competitive Grants Program

The ISE Competitive Grants Program supports research, extension, and teaching activities that will enhance the capabilities of American colleges and universities to conduct international collaborative research, extension, and teaching.

Competitive Programs

The NIFA Competitive Programs Unit manages funding opportunities that challenge the Nation's top researchers to identify, solve, and put into practice solutions to problems that improve the safety, quality, productivity, and security of our food supply and the well-being of animals, humans, the environment and natural resources, and rural and urban communities.

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Food Safety

This AFRI Challenge Area promotes and enhances the scientific discipline of food safety, with an overall aim of protecting consumers from microbial and chemical contaminants that may occur during all stages of the food chain, from production to consumption. This requires an understanding of the interdependencies of human, animal, and ecosystem health as it pertains to food-borne pathogens.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) puts over 70 years of experience to work in assisting owners of America's private land with conserving their soil, water, and other natural resources. It delivers technical assistance based on sound science and suited to a customer's specific needs. More information on NRCS can be found here.

International Programs

The role of International Programs in NRCS is to help other countries utilize their natural resources without depleting them by providing technical assistance; exchanging scientific and technical information; contributing to the overall achievement of United States (U.S.) foreign policy that seeks to promote economic stability, reduce poverty, and solve world food problems; and providing opportunities that will broaden and increase the technical knowledge and professional capability of NRCS personnel.

International Technical Assistance

NRCS receives numerous requests to provide technical assistance in foreign countries. It helps improve the management and conservation of natural resources globally by providing long- and short-term technical assistance and leadership with our foreign partners. Due to lack of statutory authority to fund technical assistance outside the U.S. NRCS participates in these activities on a reimbursable basis, through USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service/International Cooperation and Development (FAS/ICD).

International Visitor Program

The Visitors Program is designed to provide specialized on-the-job training in the U.S. for foreign nationals from other countries. Foreign officials are given opportunities to gain a better understanding of ecosystem-based assistance by observing and discussing conservation programs in the U.S., in order to transfer applicable methods back to their home countries. There are times, however, when NRCS employees are contacted directly by universities or other institutions in order to provide assistance to these visitors. Funding sources vary from program to program.

Note: In fiscal year (FY) 2013, NRCS did not make foreign assistance awards but may in future years.

The mission of the Department of Health and Human Services is to help provide the building blocks that Americans need to live healthy, successful lives. We fulfill that mission every day by providing millions of children, families, and seniors with access to high-quality health care, by helping people find jobs and parents find affordable child care, by keeping the food on Americans’ shelves safe and infectious diseases at bay, and by pushing the boundaries of how we diagnose and treat disease.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the United States government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. HHS is headed by the Secretary who is the chief managing officer for our family of agencies, including 11 operating divisions, 10 regional offices, as well as the Office of the Secretary.

HHS is composed of 11 operating divisions and offices within the Office of the Secretary. The 11 operating divisions are: the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the Administration for Community Living (ACL), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Indian Health Services (IHS), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

HHS is primarily a domestic organization. With the growing interconnectedness throughout the world, HHS has begun to play more of a role in global health security and ensuring the safety of Americans. The CDC global health portfolio has expanded over the past decade with the start of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and CDC now has a presence in many countries. PEPFAR funding is not directly appropriated to HHS. HHS receives transfer from the State Department’s Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) to implement PEPFAR programs.

CDC works to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.

CDC increases the health security of our nation. As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.

More than 300 CDC staff work in more than 60 countries.