Foreign aid is one of those issues that is pretty widely mis-understood by the general public; and I think fairly so, because its extremely complicated. I’ve spent over 10 years covering issues related to foreign aid and frankly I learn new and surprising things about foreign aid all the time.
So what do we actually mean when we talk about foreign aid? What are some of the real-world implications of a steep reduction of US foreign assistance? And what are the politics of it all? On the line with me to discuss these questions and more is Joel Charny, US director of the Norwegian Refugee Council, which is a large international NGO on the front lines of some major crises worldwide. He does a good job of walking me through the big picture questions surrounding foreign aid, but also some of the specific on-the-ground implications of what cuts would mean. He also discusses why this is a uniquely bad time to be cutting back on foreign aid.
If you have 20 minutes and want a fuller understanding of US foreign aid and what cutbacks would mean around the world, have a listen