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Foreign assistance is aid given by the United States to other countries to support global peace, security, and development efforts, as well as to provide humanitarian relief during times of crisis. The U.S. government provides foreign assistance because it is strategically, economically, and morally imperative for the United States and vital to U.S. national security.
ForeignAssistance.gov captures both budgetary and financial information related to U.S. foreign assistance. These two types of data capture foreign assistance at different points in the financial lifecycle. Click on each box to learn more.
Budgetary data represents funds that are set aside to be spent by the U.S. government and its implementing partners in the future. Budgetary data is composed of request data – funds requested by U.S. government agencies – and appropriation data – funds appropriated by Congress to U.S. government agencies through spending bills signed into law. This data is reported to ForeignAssistance.gov on an annual basis.
Financial data includes both obligated data – funds the U.S. government decides can be mobilized – and spent data – funds the U.S. government has mobilized to purchase goods and services. U.S. government agencies report financial transaction data to ForeignAssistance.gov from their accounting systems on a quarterly basis. The fiscal years associated with obligated and spent transaction data on ForeignAssistance.gov represent the years in which those transactions took place. Transaction data is the most granular form of financial data. Transaction data represents every individual financial record in an agency’s accounting system for program work with implementing partners and administrative expenses.
ForeignAssistance.gov collects and posts data directly from the U.S. government agencies managing foreign assistance programs, in accordance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Bulletin 12-01 and the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2016 (FATAA). Operating under authorities delegated from the Secretary of State, the Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources at the Department of State manages ForeignAssistance.gov on behalf of the U.S. government.
ForeignAssistance.gov collects financial (obligated and spent) data quarterly. Each agency populates its data in a data ingest template that is standardized across all reporting agencies. This promotes data consistency across the U.S. government. The fields in the ingest template correspond to the information required by FATAA, OMB Bulletin 12-01, and the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).
The data published on ForeignAssistance.gov is collected, reported, verified, and owned by each reporting agency. Agencies are the primary source for the data. The Department of State will not edit or modify another agency’s data without express permission or approval from that agency.
The following agencies are required to report budget data on an annual basis and financial data on a quarterly basis to comply with the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2016 (FATAA) and OMB Bulletin 12-01. Each agency is required by FATAA to report to ForeignAssistance.gov from FY 2015 onward. Some agencies have reported data prior to FY 2015.
The chart below provides the data status for every agency by quarter from FY 2015 onward. ForeignAssistance.gov is updated on a biweekly basis with new data as it is reported by agencies. Our What's New page catalogues data and site updates for users.
To explore each portfolio in greater detail, jump to our Data Availability Search.
Use the following search to identify specific data availability by custom search criteria:
Budget Planning data represents funds the U.S. government budgets for its agencies for a given fiscal year. The U.S. government undergoes a process by which it plans how to use funds. First, agencies prepare a funding request for submission to Congress. Congress then appropriates funds to the agencies. The fiscal years associated with requested and appropriated data on ForeignAssistance.gov represent the budget year tied to this funding. It is possible for funds to be obligated and spent in subsequent fiscal years.
The agencies prepare a funding request from Congress. The request data visualized on ForeignAssistance.gov comes from each agency’s budget request.
Each U.S. government agency prepares a budget request to Congress, which is compiled into the President’s Budget submission to both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. This submission provides a comprehensive outline of all programs and the associated funds the President proposes to execute in the upcoming fiscal year.
Congress then appropriates funds to the agencies. Agencies then determine the actual location and purpose of the appropriated funds, taking into account any changes since its request.
Congress appropriates funds to U.S. government agencies in a series of appropriation acts or spending bills, which are then signed into law by the President. These laws provide funds to the agencies, which are subdivided into specific amounts to be spent on set categories or activities over a specified amount of time. In many instances, funds appropriated in a given fiscal year do not need to be spent in that same fiscal year.
The appropriation data visualized on ForeignAssistance.gov originally comes from the appropriation passed by Congress and is refreshed for agencies with appropriated actuals once this data is available. Please see the Glossary of Terms for more information on appropriation and appropriated actuals.
Obligated data represents the funds that U.S. government agencies commit to spend on foreign assistance efforts. Agencies take their appropriated funds and commit them to specific projects or activities.
Obligations are also known as commitments because they are the funds which have been applied to activities that obligate/commit the U.S. government to make outlays either immediately or in the future for those given activities. Funds can be de-obligated, in which case they would appear as negative values in our dataset.
Spent data represents funds the U.S. government has outlaid, disbursed, or expended to purchase goods and services during a given quarter of a fiscal year.
Expenditures are the actual disbursement of funds in return for goods and services.
Disbursements are the funds paid/outlaid by U.S. government agencies, by cash or cash equivalent, during the fiscal year to liquidate government obligations.