Highest Foreign Aid Recipients

Name the countries that receive the most net foreign aid from governments of other countries.
For the year 2018. Source.
Development assistance only, not military assistance
Quiz by relessness
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Last updated: August 11, 2020
First submittedJune 19, 2013
Times taken21,461
Rating4.48
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$ Received
Country
9.99 bil
Syria
7.99 bil
Yemen
4.93 bil
Ethiopia
3.79 bil
Afghanistan
3.30 bil
Nigeria
3.04 bil
Bangladesh
2.53 bil
Jordan
$ Received
Country
2.51 bil
D.R. Congo
2.49 bil
Kenya
2.45 bil
India
2.45 bil
Tanzania
2.30 bil
Iraq
2.24 bil
Palestine
2.06 bil
Egypt
$ Received
Country
1.94 bil
Uganda
1.82 bil
Mozambique
1.76 bil
Colombia
1.69 bil
Myanmar
1.63 bil
Vietnam
1.58 bil
South Sudan
1.53 bil
Somalia
+1
Level 80
Oct 12, 2013
missed China and Tanzania.
+1
Level 80
Oct 12, 2013
really strange China is a leading aid recipient... 2nd largest economy in the world and growing rapidly, loaning enormous amounts of money to other countries like the US, investing enormous amounts of money all over the world, doesn't have enough money to spare to crack the top givers list and in fact they need aid? weird. Though I know there are still millions of Chinese living below the poverty line.
+7
Level ∞
Nov 3, 2015
China is off the list now, although they still receive significant assistance. I imagine at some point they will switch from a recipient to a donor country. But for now, even though they have a huge economy, they are still a middle income country.
+2
Level 80
Nov 3, 2015
No credit for "Congo"? I wish all you quiz-makers could agree on one set of rules.
+1
Level 75
Nov 3, 2015
Agreed. Please accept Congo.
+9
Level ∞
Nov 4, 2015
This was my fault. By the way, there is an "official" set of type-ins for every country. I just forgot to apply them.
+1
Level 63
Nov 5, 2015
Random question, cpg: how come when I click on your page, nothing shows up? People with no quizzes normally don't have a link (like Arp2600 down there).
+1
Level 47
Feb 1, 2016
Maybe he had a quiz, but it was deleted?
+1
Level 63
Mar 16, 2016
Ah, good point. I looked him up on the "all users" list and it claims he has one, so he must've deleted it.
+2
Level 80
Mar 15, 2016
On my "answers are countries" quizzes that have ended up featured you will find a few more type-ins than on most quizzes here... for example I always accept "KSA" for Saudi Arabia, "DPRK" for North Korea, and "ROK" for South Korea. I think usually "ROC" for Taiwan, and "PRC" for China, as well. But the first few are probably because I've lived in Saudi and Korea before and got used to using these acronyms myself.
+4
Level 53
Aug 30, 2020
I had no idea you lived in Saudi Arabia. It's not like it's mentioned in the comments of every single quiz I've ever taken......
+1
Level 80
Aug 30, 2020
so..... you haven't taken that many quizzes, then? Welcome to the site. Very topical and timely response, too, as I left the KSA 6 years ago, this comment was made 4 years ago, and Dan started accepting KSA for Saudi Arabia about 2 years ago. Way to stay on top of things.
+2
Level 47
Aug 31, 2020
Oh I never realized KSA started being accepted! I guess I didn't ever try it... Well that's cool anyway.
+3
Level 68
Mar 19, 2016
There are 2 Congos: the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo. Officially, Congo, refers to the latter not the former.
+3
Level 80
Jan 31, 2018
Officially? Who is officiating the informal use of country short names?
+6
Level 62
Jan 31, 2018
Dan
+3
Level 74
Nov 4, 2015
What is meant by "Name the countries that receive the most foreign aid from governments of other countries." I don't understand; other than what?
+12
Level 80
Nov 4, 2015
Other than themselves...
+1
Level 77
Nov 5, 2015
Ha ha, this.
+1
Level 72
Nov 5, 2015
This felt like an anti-America gotcha comment...SQUASHED by Arp!
+1
Level 63
Nov 5, 2015
+1
+1
Level 80
Nov 6, 2015
Oh ok, didn't think of that. Anyway, given the figures, I don't think this quiz excludes the US.
+11
Level 74
Jan 13, 2018
What??? There are some paranoid Americans on this site, seeing criticism where is none. My point was that there is redundancy here: "foreign" aid is only able, by definition, to come from governments of other countries.
+1
Level 65
Aug 30, 2020
I understand you Jerry. Literary redundancy.
+6
Level 72
Nov 20, 2017
Other than NGOs like Red Cross, MSF, UNICEF etc
+4
Level 76
Nov 16, 2015
I thought Israel would have been on the list.
+3
Level 74
Mar 8, 2016
This surprised me too, Israel receives about $3bn annually from the USA. Maybe it's not counted because it's technically a loan?
+1
Level 59
Mar 15, 2016
Somehow Palestine is on the list with 2.44 billion.
+7
Level ∞
Mar 15, 2016
The source data only considered development assistance, not military assistance. I added a caveat.
+2
Level 74
Jan 13, 2018
Here's the military assistance quiz re the US - still trying to locate similar data from Russia and Saudi Arabia for some balance, but google searching is getting nowhere.
+1
Level 57
Feb 1, 2016
Odd...comments from before the quiz was made.
+4
Level 47
Feb 1, 2016
The date is when the quiz was last updated, not when it was created.
+1
Level 59
Mar 15, 2016
Forgot Iraq. Turkey surprised me though.
+3
Level 53
Mar 15, 2016
Israel should be on this list
+2
Level 62
Jan 31, 2018
The difference being....
+1
Level 72
Mar 15, 2016
There is more here than a "grain of salt " compromise of truth. First of all, the quiz does not define aid, and as someone associated with this for some years, that is far from easy. Do we consider food aid the same as military? Are transfers counted the same as credits (often with tight strings attached)? How do we include salaries and benefits to foreign administrators (i.e. money that never leaves the donor country, but is often counted as "aid")? And Israel is strangely absent from the list. This quiz is misleading and should be dumped.
+2
Level 43
Mar 15, 2016
Why is Turkey receiving foreign aid?
+2
Level ∞
Jan 12, 2018
Oddly they also appear on the list of donor countries. But this is "net" aid, so they are receiving more than they are donating.
+2
Level 77
Jan 22, 2018
There are many very poor parts of the country, though nowadays I guess they get most of the money to keep Syrians in Turkey.
+3
Level 28
Mar 15, 2016
The aid isn't doing any good. Most of these countries are still very poor
+11
Level 80
Mar 16, 2016
Not true. In 1800 the global average child mortality rate was 43.3%. In the 1950s it was 19.5%. In 1990 it was 7.4%. In 2013 it was under 4%. This is just one metric. But in pretty much all ways life around the world and the global economic situation continues to improve. Thanks, Obama!
+2
Level 60
Mar 17, 2016
There's also the other factor, which is that "development assistance" isn't just about raising people out of poverty, it's often investment by the government giving the aid to open up new markets or expand existing ones for its home companies - hence why some relatively rich countries with large economies (India, Turkey, South Africa, Nigeria) appear on this list.
+3
Level ∞
Mar 17, 2016
I think most economists would argue that trade, not development assistance, is the primary explanation for the rise in standard of living in the third world.
+4
Level 80
Jan 31, 2018
I wasn't arguing that developmental assistance is the *primary* explanation for the rise of global wages and living conditions, just against the idea that it does no good and that situations have not improved.
+4
Level 65
Jan 12, 2018
I find it quite ironic that Syria is #1. The West invades and bombs them to try to overthrow their democratically elected president, and when the regime change doesn't work we just throw money at Syria and tell them to clean themselves up?
+13
Level 78
Jan 12, 2018
Democratically elected government? Assad inherited the position from his dictator father. There may be elections in the Robert Mugabe mold, but it's a bit of a stretch to call him democratically elected.
+4
Level 80
Feb 11, 2018
^this. and also... when did the West invade Syria? You are so confused about so many things.
+1
Level 47
Aug 31, 2020
Agreed. I understand that 'the west' invaded Iraq kind of but not Syria. its own people tried to over throw their "democratically elected" "president".
+1
Level 69
Jan 13, 2018
This one is tougher than the donors quiz. Turkey surprised me.
+1
Level 72
Jan 26, 2018
Me too. Right in the middle of both donors and recipients. Why not just keep the money for your own people?
+1
Level 45
Jan 31, 2018
India annoys me. Give them aid & they develop a space programme
+7
Level 62
Jan 31, 2018
As an Indian I am ashamed that India is on the list. We hope that we'll be out of this list in quick time. Humbly request you to compare costs of our space programs with 'others'. Some of us are reasonably well educated, all our scientists need not run around building toilets. We will start contributing to world development in 30 to 50 years time. Wish us luck!
+4
Level 50
Aug 30, 2020
You needn't be ashamed of anything. The ones who need to be ashamed are the colonizers.
+1
Level 47
Aug 30, 2020
exactly
+2
Level 47
Aug 31, 2020
I agree, there's no need to be ashamed, but also I see very few people who are currently colonizers. Maaaybe France because they still have many territories, but probably not.
+4
Level 36
Nov 20, 2018
bro india receives aid from UK as sort of an apology for looting our country for 300 yrs during british raj also we have now renounced the aid as in 2 or 3 yrs time we will be a larger economy than UK itself (5 th largest) and as for the aid it was obligatory for the british for leaving behind a broken and split country and as for the the space program it will soon be the best in the world................and no need to be jealous that the shuttle as travelling to mars at fuel economy of Rs 5-6/km = 7 cents/km so TIME TO SEE INDIA RISE
+3
Level 50
Aug 30, 2020
Not that I support india being here , but with the British having looted $45 trillion from India and oppressed Indians for over 300 years , the British ought to pay back.
+2
Level 61
Aug 30, 2020
Nope. No apologies are necessary. Look up "conquered".
+1
Level 47
Aug 30, 2020
@jkabq you're right, no apologies are necessary. However, that's because India, despite being treated horribly by the British for centuries, rose up and showed the world their strength. They now have a stronger economy and a better army than the UK.
+1
Level 47
Jan 31, 2018
Please accept Afganistan. I'm pretty sure that's what I type on other quizzes.
+3
Level 70
Nov 27, 2019
Why don't you just put the H in?
+1
Level 65
Aug 30, 2020
lol
+1
Level 68
Jan 31, 2018
0:21, a lot of it just by guessing. It seems population correlates pretty well with aid received.
+1
Level 54
Feb 4, 2020
Missed Ghana and Bangladesh (again)...
+1
Level 62
Aug 30, 2020
Given that most of the countries on this list are relatively large (in population at least) developing countries, I was surprised that Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Philippines aren't on here. Any explanations for them?
+1
Level 47
Aug 30, 2020
I don't think the US gives Pakistan that much aid because they give a lot more aid to India. Indonesia and Philippines... I dunno.
+1
Level 80
Aug 31, 2020
Though the US is by far the most generous giver of foreign aid in the world, this quiz is about total foreign aid received and is not exclusively about American foreign aid.

Pakistan is actually the 11th leading recipient of US foreign aid, beating out India by a substantial margin, but India receives more aid from other countries.
Both Indonesia and the Philippines receive hundreds of millions in foreign aid from the US, but that's not enough to crack the top 20 of this list. It's actually not even in the top 20 of US foreign aid recipients.
+1
Level 74
Oct 17, 2020
In the Americas, why aren't places like Haiti, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia etc on the list? Colombia does not make much sense, unless it's due to political reasons ('war on drugs'), suppressing the trade unions etc.