Foreign Assistance:

International Resource Flows and Development Assistance to Developing Countries

NSIAD-91-25FS: Published: Oct 23, 1990. Publicly Released: Nov 26, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the total value, composition, and distribution of development assistance provided to developing countries between 1980 and 1988, focusing on the level of U.S. and Japanese assistance.

GAO found that: (1) the U.S. share of official development assistance increased from 16.3 percent to 18.3 percent between 1980 and 1988; (2) Japan increased its global official assistance from 10.4 percent to 15 percent; (3) Sub-Saharan Africa received 35 percent of the global official development assistance, while Asia received 33 percent; (4) developing countries' dependence on donor resource flows increased, but the distribution of assistance remained largely independent of countries' relative development resource needs; (5) donor nations tended to favor particular recipient countries, but directed their official assistance to differing sectors; and (6) the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries concentrated on providing general program support, while Soviet Union assistance favored infrastructure development and mineral exploration and extraction.

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