FAE: About

Welcome to Foreign Aid Explorer

As the lead U.S. Government agency for international aid, USAID is responsible for reporting official U.S. Government foreign aid to Congress and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). To fulfill this responsibility, USAID maintains the official database for Greenbook and OECD/DAC reporting of U.S. Government assistance to the world, from 1946 to the present.

In keeping with USAID's commitment to transparency and the President's Open Government initiative [PDF], USAID uses this website to present a picture of historical U.S. foreign aid in accurate and understandable terms. Look for new features and enhancements as they come online.

About Foreign Aid Explorer

The Foreign Aid Explorer shows the multi-dimensional picture of U.S. foreign assistance through a highly visual and interactive website. The website makes it easy for all users to find and retrieve the data they need. For the casual user, there are interactive maps and graphics that clearly lay out the details of foreign aid, allowing users to explore foreign aid data across countries, sectors, and over time. More advanced users can quickly download their desired data using our data query tools or by selecting from a choice of prepared files. Foreign Aid Explorer is a product of USAID's Economic Analysis and Data Services.

History

For over fifty years, USAID has been responsible for reporting U.S. foreign aid. In the summer of 2003, USAID built a data repository to track all foreign assistance activities funded by the U.S. Government and fulfill two international aid reporting requirements of the U.S. Government: (1) Publication of the annual U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants (informally known as the Greenbook) for Congress and (2) the U.S. Government’s Annual Assistance Report (USAAR) to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This data repository evolved into the USAID Foreign Aid Explorer (FAE), a resource for information on all U.S. foreign assistance funding and implementation, from over 70 U.S. Government departments, agencies, and offices.

Foreign Aid Explorer and ForeignAssistance.gov

USAID and the Department of State, Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources (State/F) are leading the effort to ensure greater transparency of U.S Government foreign assistance funding through their respective websites: Foreign Aid Explorer and ForeignAssistance.gov. While both websites give users the ability to examine and track U.S. Government foreign assistance investments in an accessible and easy-to-understand format, there are key differences:

The Foreign Aid Explorer reports comprehensive, aggregate historical (1946-2000) and disaggregated (2001-present) obligation and disbursement data on the 30 U.S. Government agencies implementing foreign assistance. USAID collects the data on the Foreign Aid Explorer quarterly or annually, depending on the capability of the reporting agency, in accordance with OMB Bulletin 12-01, Guidance on Collection of U.S. Foreign Assistance Data. These data are used to report official U.S. Government foreign aid to Congress and the OECD. USAID posts data to the Foreign Aid Explorer periodically throughout the year as significant data releases are ready.

State/F is mandated under OMB Bulletin 12-01 to operate ForeignAssistance.gov and register U.S. Government data with the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). ForeignAssistance.gov reports aggregate planned, obligation and disbursement data, as well as detailed transaction data, from 2006 onwards (with varying years of coverage) for 10 agencies. The data are available on a quarterly basis for download in XML format, the IATI common data standard.

About the Economic Analysis and Data Services

The USAID Foreign Aid Explorer (FAE) is maintained by USAID's Economic Analysis and Data Services (EADS), an activity supported by the Knowledge Management Division in the Bureau for Management's Chief Information Office (USAID/M/CIO/KM). EADS delivers technical and professional support services to facilitate USAID's understanding, access, and quantitative analysis of development data and information. To achieve the dual tasks of economic analysis and data services, EADS is responsible for managing four major databases and websites: Foreign Assistance Database, Trade Capacity Building Database, Microenterprise Results Reporting Database, and International Data & Economic Analysis.

This section explains important characteristics of U.S. foreign assistance data, as well as procedures the Economic Analysis and Data Services (EADS) team at USAID Management Bureau, Office of the Chief Information Officer [USAID/M/CIO] follows to present these data. The following information details the methodology of collecting, processing, verifying, reporting and revising U.S. foreign assistance data. If you have a question that is not answered here, you can contact the EADS team via email at eads@usaid.gov.

What is Foreign Aid?

U.S. foreign aid or assistance is defined by the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) of 1961. Under Section 634 of the FAA, foreign assistance is defined as:

"...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..." Section 634 of FAA further states that "...provided by the United States Government' includes, but is not limited to, foreign assistance provided by means of gift, loan, sale, credit, or guaranty."

The implementer and location do not determine whether an official transfer is U.S. foreign assistance. This designation is based on whether foreign entities receive direct benefits from programs supported by USG funds without paying for them. Most implementers for USG assistance programs are U.S. entities. While authorized primarily under FAA, USG foreign assistance is also authorized by other legislation. Similarly, USG foreign assistance is primarily funded by appropriations within budget function 150, International Affairs, in annual presentations of the Budget of the U.S. Government.

In simpler terms, foreign assistance is any assistance, monetary or otherwise, freely provided by the U.S. government to a foreign government or an international organization. Foreign Aid Explorer reports all U.S. foreign assistance as defined above.

The International Community, represented through the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), tracks foreign assistance through the lens of Official Development Assistance (ODA). The Development Assistance Committee of the OECD defines ODA as resource flows that are concessional in nature and “provided by official agencies, including state and local governments, or by their executive agencies…” and “administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its main objective”.

This website presents U.S. Official Development Assistance (ODA) data exclusively in the U.S. Annual Assistance Report (USAAR) section. All other sections of the FAE website (Aid Dashboard, Aid by Country, Data Query, etc.) report U.S. foreign assistance as defined by the FAA. However, these sections do use the OECD sector classification to present aid data.

Foreign Aid Data

For over fifty years, USAID has been responsible for reporting U.S. foreign assistance, as defined under Section 634 of the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) of 1961. In the summer of 2003, USAID built a data repository to track all foreign assistance activities funded by the U.S. Government and fulfill the two international aid reporting requirements of the U.S. Government: (1) Publication of the annual U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants (informally known as the Greenbook) for Congress and (2) the U.S. Government's Annual Assistance Report (USAAR) to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This data repository evolved into the USAID Foreign Aid Explorer (FAE), which captures all U.S. foreign assistance funding and implementation from over 70 U.S. Government departments, agencies, and offices. In addition to fulfilling the two U.S. Government reporting requirements, the FAE helps USAID respond to stakeholder and public inquiries regarding U.S. foreign aid. All transactions defined as foreign assistance under FAA are reported on the FAE website.

Data Collection

USAID’s data collection effort is authorized by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which leads an Interagency Policy Committee (IPC) on Aid Transparency and issues OMB Bulletin 12-01, Guidance on Collection of U.S. Foreign Assistance Data. All USG departments and agencies that fund or implement foreign assistance are subject to OMB’s reporting requirements and guidance. USAID collaborates with State Department’s Office of Foreign Assistance Resources to build U.S. government agencies’ capability to report comprehensive and robust data on a quarterly basis, to comply with OMB Bulletin 12-01.

USAID collects information on U.S. foreign assistance in the form of activities and their associated financial flows. An aid ‘activity’ can be a project, program, cash transfer, delivery of goods, training course, research project, debt relief operation, or a contribution to an international organization. An aid ‘financial flow’ most commonly takes the form of an obligation (a binding agreement, based on budgeted resources, which will result in outlays) or a disbursement (an amount paid by federal agencies, by cash or cash equivalent, to settle government obligations).

Data Processing

The data are reported to USAID's Economic Analysis and Data Services (EADS) team by all U.S. Government Agencies, Departments and Offices that undertake foreign assistance. Data collection begins in January, for the previous fiscal and calendar year. Since 2012, the Office of Management and Budget has sent that solicitation to agencies and offices that fund or implement U.S. foreign assistance activities. Data are typically received in a standard Excel format.

The data housed in the Foreign Aid Explorer (FAE) comes from over 70 different US Government Agencies, Departments and Offices, in various formats and reports. In order to fulfill both Congressional and International reporting requirements, FAE data must be converted and stored in a common format. The EADS team standardizes various types of information, from disparate internal financial and project management systems, including: country or region, agency (both funder and implementer), funding account (appropriation), sub-agency or office, sector, and implementing partner. The EADS team converts each of these entities to a set of common IDs and names, and stores them in a data warehouse.

The EADS team standardizes various types of information, from disparate internal financial and project management systems, including: country or region, agency (both funder and implementer), funding account (appropriation), sub-agency or office, sector, and implementing partner. The EADS team converts each of these entities to a set of common IDs and names, and stores them in a data warehouse.

Data Verification

While processing the data received from USG agency submitters, the EADS team checks the reported financial flows (obligations and disbursements) against the agencies’ foreign aid amounts from previous years. Figures are also checked to ensure there are no duplicates within submissions and that no records are missing required values. In addition, figures are checked against the federal budget and Monthly Treasury Statements (a Treasury report of all monthly receipts/outlays and deficit/surplus of the United States). Where alternative sources of obligation and disbursement amounts, such as ForeignAssistance.gov, are available, transactions are also checked to ensure consistent reporting. The EADS team also reviews the reporting of U.S. foreign assistance across agencies, to confirm no double-counting of funds transferred from one agency to another.

Data Reporting Schedule

Processing of the data begins early the following year and currently concludes 6 to 9 months later. Verified data from different agencies and offices are reported throughout the year as the data are collected and processed.

Key Terms and Definitions

The interactive sections of the Foreign Aid Explorer website (Aid Trends, Aid Dashboard, Aid by Country and Data Query) use common terminology defined below to present U.S. foreign assistance data.

Country

This is the specific target beneficiary of U.S. foreign assistance. A ‘country’ listed on the Foreign Aid Explorer website is either an entity named and classified as an “Independent State” by the U.S. Department of State, or a geographic regional recipient with the suffix “Region”. Activities reported under the ‘Asia Region’ or the ‘Asia, Middle East and North Africa Region’ are grouped under the ‘World’ region because these two regions do not fit within the Department of State regions used in Foreign Aid Explorer visualizations.

A collapsible list of country/region recipients and their parent geographic region groups is provided below:

  • East Asia and Oceania
    • Australia
    • Brunei
    • Burma (Myanmar)
    • Cambodia
    • China (P.R. Hong Kong)
    • China (P.R.C.)
    • China (Tibet)
    • China, Republic of (Taiwan)
    • Cook Islands
    • East Asia and Oceania Region
    • Eastern Asia Region
    • Fiji
    • French Polynesia
    • Indonesia
    • Japan
    • Kiribati
    • Korea Republic
    • Korea, Democratic Republic
    • Laos
    • Macau
    • Malaysia
    • Marshall Islands
    • Micronesia (Federated States)
    • Mongolia
    • Nauru
    • New Caledonia
    • New Zealand
    • Oceania Region
    • Pacific Island Trust Territory
    • Palau
    • Papua New Guinea
    • Philippines
    • Samoa
    • Singapore
    • Solomon Islands
    • Thailand
    • Timor-Leste
    • Tonga
    • Tuvalu
    • Vanuatu
    • Vietnam
    • Vietnam (former South)
  • Europe and Eurasia
    • Albania
    • Armenia
    • Austria
    • Azerbaijan
    • Belarus
    • Belgium
    • Berlin, West
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • Bulgaria
    • Central and Eastern Europe Region
    • Croatia
    • Cyprus
    • Czechia
    • Czechoslovakia (former)
    • Denmark
    • Eastern Europe Region
    • Estonia
    • Eurasia Region
    • Europe Region
    • Europe and Eurasia Region
    • Finland
    • France
    • Georgia
    • Germany
    • Germany (former East)
    • Greece
    • Hungary
    • Iceland
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Kosovo
    • Latvia
    • Lithuania
    • Luxembourg
    • Macedonia
    • Malta
    • Moldova
    • Montenegro
    • Netherlands
    • Norway
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Romania
    • Russia
    • Serbia
    • Serbia and Montenegro (former)
    • Slovak Republic
    • Slovenia
    • Soviet Union (former)
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • Turkey
    • Ukraine
    • United Kingdom
    • Western Europe Region
    • Yugoslavia (former)
  • Middle East and North Africa
    • Algeria
    • Bahrain
    • Egypt
    • Iran
    • Iraq
    • Israel
    • Jordan
    • Kuwait
    • Lebanon
    • Libya
    • Middle East Region
    • Middle East and North Africa Region
    • Morocco
    • North Africa Region
    • Oman
    • Qatar
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Syria
    • Tunisia
    • United Arab Emirates
    • West Bank/Gaza
    • Yemen
    • Yemen (former P.D.R.)
  • South and Central Asia
    • Afghanistan
    • Bangladesh
    • Bhutan
    • India
    • Kazakhstan
    • Kyrgyzstan
    • Maldives
    • Nepal
    • Pakistan
    • South East Asia Region
    • South and Central Asia Region
    • Southern Asia Region
    • Sri Lanka
    • Tajikistan
    • Turkmenistan
    • Uzbekistan
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Angola
    • Benin
    • Botswana
    • British Indian Ocean Territory
    • Burkina Faso
    • Burundi
    • Cabo Verde
    • Cameroon
    • Central African Republic
    • Chad
    • Comoros
    • Congo (Brazzaville)
    • Congo (Kinshasa)
    • Cote d'Ivoire
    • Djibouti
    • East and South Africa Region
    • Eastern Africa Region
    • Eastern and Central Africa Region
    • Equatorial Guinea
    • Eritrea
    • Ethiopia
    • Gabon
    • Gambia
    • Ghana
    • Guinea
    • Guinea-Bissau
    • Kenya
    • Lesotho
    • Liberia
    • Madagascar
    • Malawi
    • Mali
    • Mauritania
    • Mauritius
    • Mozambique
    • Namibia
    • Niger
    • Nigeria
    • Rwanda
    • Sao Tome and Principe
    • Senegal
    • Seychelles
    • Sierra Leone
    • Somalia
    • South Africa
    • South Sudan
    • Southern Africa Region
    • Sub-Saharan Africa Region
    • Sudan
    • Sudan (former)
    • Swaziland
    • Tanzania
    • Togo
    • Uganda
    • West Africa Region
    • Western (Spanish) Sahara
    • Zambia
    • Zimbabwe
  • Western Hemisphere
    • Anguilla
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Argentina
    • Aruba
    • Bahamas
    • Barbados
    • Belize
    • Bermuda
    • Bolivia
    • Brazil
    • British Virgin Islands
    • Canada
    • Caribbean Region
    • Cayman Islands
    • Central America Region
    • Central America and Caribbean Region
    • Chile
    • Colombia
    • Costa Rica
    • Cuba
    • Curacao
    • Dominica
    • Dominican Republic
    • Ecuador
    • El Salvador
    • French Guiana
    • Grenada
    • Guatemala
    • Guyana
    • Haiti
    • Honduras
    • Jamaica
    • Latin America Region
    • Latin America and Caribbean Region
    • Martinique
    • Mexico
    • Montserrat
    • Netherlands Antilles (former)
    • Nicaragua
    • North America Region
    • North and Central America Region
    • Panama
    • Paraguay
    • Peru
    • South America Region
    • St. Kitts and Nevis
    • St. Lucia
    • St. Vincent and Grenadines
    • Suriname
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • Turks and Caicos Islands
    • Uruguay
    • Venezuela
    • Western Hemisphere Region
  • World
    • Asia Region
    • Asia, Middle East and North Africa Region
    • World

Activity

An aid activity is any project, program, cash transfer, delivery of goods, training course, research project, debt relief operation, or contribution to an international organization.

Assistance Category

This is the basic classification of aid for the Foreign Aid Explorer and the U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants (Greenbook) report. It distinguishes between economic assistance and military assistance.

Economic assistance is defined as foreign aid for programs with a development or humanitarian objective. Development aid programs foster sustainable, broad-based economic progress and sociopolitical stability in developing countries. Humanitarian aid programs focus on the immediate alleviation of humanitarian emergencies, both natural and man-made disasters, as well as problems resulting from conflict associated with failed or failing states. Economic assistance captures U.S. voluntary contributions to multilateral organizations, non-military security assistance, as well as humanitarian and non-military development programs funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Military assistance is defined as foreign aid for programs primarily for the benefit of recipient government armed forces, or aid which subsidizes or substantially enhances military capability. Military assistance excludes humanitarian and non-military development programs funded by the U.S. Department of Defense; these programs are categorized as ‘Economic Assistance’.

Foreign Assistance = Economic Assistance + Military Assistance

Aid Type Group

Foreign assistance is also categorized using an international standard maintained by the OECD/DAC, which describes the type of assistance. Examples of ‘aid type’ include: project-type interventions, experts and other technical assistance, debt relief, and administrative costs.

Fiscal Year

An accounting period of 365 days (366 in leap years), but not necessarily starting on January 1. The FAE website reports the fiscal year of the United States Government, which begins on October 1, ends on September 30, and is designated by the calendar year in which it ends. Prior to FY1977, the U.S. fiscal year – and corresponding FAE website data – covered the period from July 1 through June 30. The three-month transition period in 1976 (July 1 through September 30) is treated as a distinct reporting period.

Funding Account

U.S. Budgetary accounts composed of moneys collected and spent by the federal government, other than those designated as trust funds. Federal fund accounts include general, special, public enterprise, and intra-governmental fund accounts.

The Treasury Account Symbol (TAS) refers to the account identification codes assigned by the Department of the Treasury to individual appropriation, receipt, or other fund accounts. http://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsreports/ref/fastBook/fastbook_home.htm

The FAE website reports both a funding account name and an ID, which combines a two-digit agency code and a four-digit appropriation symbol.

Funding Agency

This is the agency to which funds for U.S. foreign assistance were appropriated, with the exception of the Executive Office of the President (EOP). For foreign assistance appropriated through EOP, the agency actually obligating the aid (USAID, State Department, Treasury Department, etc.) is reported as the funding agency.

Implementing Agency

This is the agency which actually obligates and disburses the U.S. foreign assistance, either directly or via an implementing partner entity. The implementing agency for a foreign aid activity may or may not differ from the appropriated (funding) agency.

The following U.S. Agencies currently report U.S. foreign assistance on the FAE website:

  • African Development Foundation
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of State
  • Department of the Interior
  • Department of the Treasury
  • Department of Transportation
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Inter-American Foundation
  • Millennium Challenge Corporation
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation
  • Peace Corps
  • Trade and Development Agency
  • U.S. Agency for International Development

Implementing Sub-agency

This is the specific office or department (organizational unit) within the agency that obligates and disburses the U.S. foreign assistance.

Implementing Partner

This is the government agency, private firm, organization or other party that receives the funds from an Implementing Agency to carry out specific U.S. foreign assistance work. For example, a implementing partner can be: an organization or party that has an assistance (grant/agreement/compact) or acquisition (contract) relationship with the Implementing Agency to use foreign assistance funds; a country's government or ministry that receives a direct contribution from the USG; a USG agency or entity that directly carries out the foreign assistance work.

Implementing Partner Category

The FAE groups U.S. foreign aid implementing partner entities in accordance with the OECD/DAC ‘channel of aid delivery’ classification methodology. Examples of implementing partner categories include: enterprises, governments, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Implementing Partner Subcategory

The FAE groups U.S. foreign aid implementing partner entities in accordance with the OECD/DAC ‘channel of aid delivery’ classification methodology. Examples of implementing partner sub-categories include: enterprises – United States, enterprises – non United States, government – United States, government – non United States, NGO – International, NGO – United States, and NGO – non United States.

Income Group

The FAE presents U.S. foreign aid by recipient income group, in accordance with the current World Bank Income Group Country Classification. Economies are divided into four income groupings: low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high, based on GNI per capita (in U.S. dollars, converted from local currency using the Atlas method). For 2017, low-income economies are defined as those with a GNI per capita of $1,025 or less in 2015; lower middle-income economies are those with a 2015 GNI per capita from $1,026 to $4,035; upper-middle income economies are those with a 2015 GNI per capita from $4,036 to $12,475; and high-income economies are those with a 2015 GNI per capita greater than $12,475.

Purpose

The FAE classifies foreign aid by inherent purpose or objective (e.g. basic nutrition, public finance management, or telecommunications). The ‘purpose’ classification follows the international standard maintained by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC). http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/purposecodessectorclassification.htm. Purposes are grouped into sectors which are in turn grouped into sector categories.

Region

This is the target beneficiary geographic region of U.S. foreign assistance. U.S. government agencies report foreign assistance at the lowest level of geographic granularity possible (country, region, or worldwide). The Foreign Aid Explorer website uses the term ‘region’ in two different ways: (1) to designate assistance to a non-country-specific recipient and (2) summarize assistance by geographic area. On the ‘Data Query’ section, foreign aid benefitting multiple countries may be assigned to either a ‘Region’ recipient or to ‘World’ for global programs. The ‘Aid Dashboard’ and ‘Aid by Country’ sections summarize and visualize assistance by geographic areas called ‘Regions’. There is no overlap or duplicate reporting to ‘Region’ recipients. For example, aid identified as benefitting the Caribbean region is assigned to Caribbean Region. Aid identified as benefitting all of Latin America and the Caribbean, not just the Caribbean, is assigned to Latin America and Caribbean Region. Total foreign assistance is the sum of aid to each and all ‘Region’ recipients and the specific benefitting countries (i.e. the sum of all ‘country’ entities).

Sector

The FAE categorizes foreign aid by distinct sectors that describe what the program does (e.g. health, energy, agriculture). The sector classification follows the international standard maintained by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC). http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/purposecodessectorclassification.htm. Sectors are divided into purposes and grouped into categories.

Sector Category

The FAE aggregates foreign aid sectors (defined above) into broader areas: Agriculture, Commodity Assistance, Economic Growth, Education, Governance, Health and Population, Humanitarian, Infrastructure, and Other. Sector categories are divided into sectors which are further divided into purposes.

Obligations

These are binding agreements that will result in outlays, immediately or in the future. Budget resources must be available before obligations can be legally incurred.

Disbursements

These are amounts paid by U.S. federal agencies, by cash or cash equivalent, during the fiscal year to liquidate government obligations.

Current Amount

Current dollar amounts are unadjusted, actual values.

Constant Amount

Constant dollar amounts are inflation-adjusted values. The constant dollar series allows users to evaluate, on a comparable basis, U.S. foreign assistance from different time periods.

Mandated Reports

The ‘Reports’ section of the Foreign Aid Explorer Website presents content specific to the two international aid reports which the EADS team prepares for the U.S. Government: (1) Publication of the annual U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants (informally known as the Greenbook) for Congress and (2) the U.S. Government's Annual Assistance Report (USAAR) to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

  • U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants, Obligations and Loan Authorizations
    Since 1962 USAID has been responsible for submitting to Congress the "U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants", more familiarly called the Greenbook. The annual publication summarizes U.S. Government foreign assistance data, economic and military, from 1945 to the present on a country by country basis. The Greenbook is produced to fulfill a Congressionally-mandated requirement. The legislative authority for the report is the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) of 1961 (P.L. 87-105), Section 634.
  • U.S. Annual Assistance Report (USAAR)
    The USAID, on behalf of the United States Government, prepares annually the official U.S. Government submission, the U.S. Annual Assistance Report (USAAR) to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Co-operation Directorate (OECD/DAC) on Official Development Assistance (ODA), Other Official Flows (OOF), and Private Flows. The USAAR reports the flows of aid and other financial resources to aid recipients (developing countries only) in the OECD/DAC expanded Creditor Reporting System (CRS++) format as laid out in the Statistical Reporting Directives agreed upon by the member countries of the OECD/DAC. International development statistics aim to meet the needs of policy makers in the field of development co-operation, and to provide a means of assessing the comparative performance of aid donors. See http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/methodology.htm for more information.
The following table summarizes the major differences between the Greenbook and USAAR reports.
Comparison of Greenbook and USAAR Reports
Reports U.S. Foreign Assistance , defined by the Foreign Assistance Act Reports Official Development Assistance (ODA), defined by the OECD
Reports by Fiscal Year (October 1 to September 30) Reports by Calendar Year (January 1 to December 31)
Reports only Obligations Reports Obligations and Disbursements
Reports data Annually, for Multiple Years (1945–Present) Reports Data Annually, for a Single Year
Does not report Debt Forgiveness Reports Debt Forgiveness
Reports on Status of Funds Reports on Flows (principal repayments and interest payments)
Reports by Funding Agency Reports by Implementing Agency
Reports Military Assistance Does not report Military Assistance
Reports Anti-Terrorism Assistance Does not report Anti-Terrorism Assistance
Reports All Peace Keeping Assistance Does not report All Peace Keeping Assistance
Does not report Domestic Refugee Costs Reports Domestic Refugee Costs
Does not report Private Flows Reports Private Flows
Reports on all Countries Reports on ODA Eligible Countries Only (based on Gross National Income)
Does not report on Sector/Purpose of the Assistance Reports on Sector/Purpose of the Assistance
Data available from U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants (Greenbook) Data available from US. Annual Assistance Report (USAAR)

Reporting Robustness

The Reporting Robustness table, linked below, details the extent to with which USG agencies reported information on requested foreign assistance data fields in the FY/CY 2015 USAID Reporting Template.

See Excel file reporting robustness

Current Reporting Status

There is a two year lag for the most recent complete year of data. This lag exists because foreign assistance data collection and reporting is approximately a year-long process from when the fiscal year ends. Foreign Aid Explorer may report more current data as agencies submit data, but while verified and accurate, the data cannot be considered complete and comprehensive until the publication of the Greenbook at the end of every calendar year. However, this does not mean that revisions will not occur once the Greenbook is published for that year. Historical revisions are necessary to improve the accuracy and consistency of the dataset.

Historical (Pre-2001) Data

Prior to 2001, the U.S. foreign assistance data reported to USAID by USG agencies did not contain detailed, activity-level information. The reporting robustness was improved in 2004 when the task of producing the mandated foreign aid reports to Congress and the OECD were combined. The EADS team went to great effort to build out detailed data starting from 2001 forward.

Data Revisions

The timeliness of reporting varies by agency and program. For example, food aid and military assistance historically have significant lag in reporting and, therefore, are often subject to revision. As with most time series datasets, historical revisions are necessary to improve the accuracy and consistency. Finally, when a methodology change occurs, the new methodology is applied to historical if possible.

Preliminary Data

The EADS team processes and posts preliminary data on the Foreign Aid Explorer Website. The preliminary data are for years beyond the current reporting year (2015). As of November 2016, U.S. foreign assistance data on the FAE is preliminary for fiscal year 2016. The following table details the reporting status of USG Agencies’ with preliminary data currently on the FAE:

Reporting Agency Status of FY2016 Data
African Development Foundation Complete - ADF reports 2016 aid activities and amounts
Department of Defense Partial – DoD reports 2016 aid activities and amounts (for humanitarian assistance and excess defense articles only)
Millennium Challenge Corporation Partial – MCC reports 2016 aid activities and amounts (for FY2016 quarter 1 only)
Department of State Partial – State Department reports 2016 aid activities and amounts (for voluntary contributions to international organizations and the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation only)
Peace Corps Complete – Peace Corps reports 2016 aid activities and amounts
U.S. Treasury Partial – Treasury reports 2016 aid activities and amounts (for FY2016 quarters 1 to 3, only contributions to international financial institutions)
USAID Complete – USAID reports 2016 aid activities and amounts (for food aid and non-food aid)
USDA Partial – USDA reports 2016 aid activities and amounts (for FY2016 quarters 1 to 2, only for food aid)
  • Appropriations

    An act of the United States Congress allowing U.S. federal agencies to incur obligations for specified purposes.

    Appropriation Account:
    The basic unit of an appropriations act, generally reflecting each unnumbered paragraph in the act. Congress appropriates funds to specific accounts, typically for certain programs, projects, and activities. The Foreign Assistance Reference Guide provides a short summary and examples of each Department of State and USAID appropriation account

  • Assistance Category

    The basic classification of aid for the Foreign Aid Explorer and the U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants (Greenbook) report; a distinction between economic assistance and military assistance.

  • Authorization

    Substantive legislation that establishes legal operation of a federal program, either indefinitely or for a specific period of time, and sanctions particular program funding levels.

  • Current Amount

    Current dollar amounts are unadjusted, actual values.

  • Constant Amount

    Dollar amounts adjusted for inflation. The constant dollar series allows users to evaluate, on a comparable basis, U.S. foreign assistance from different time periods.

  • Deobligation

    A cancellation or downward adjustment of previously incurred obligations. De-obligated funds may be re-obligated within the same time period.

  • Disbursements

    Amounts paid by federal agencies, by cash or cash equivalent, during the fiscal year to liquidate government obligations.

  • Economic Assistance

    Foreign aid for programs with a development or humanitarian objective. Development aid programs foster sustainable, broad-based economic progress and sociopolitical stability in developing countries. Humanitarian aid programs focus on the immediate alleviation of humanitarian emergencies, both natural and man-made disasters, as well as problems resulting from conflict associated with failed or failing states. Economic assistance captures U.S. voluntary contributions to multilateral organizations, non-military security assistance, as well as humanitarian and non-military development programs funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.

  • Fiscal Year (FY)

    An accounting period of 365 days (366 in leap years), but not necessarily starting on January 1. The fiscal year of the United States Government begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 and is designated by the calendar year in which it ends. Prior to FY1977, the U.S. fiscal year ran from July 1 through June 30. The three-month transition period in 1976 (July 1 through September 30) is treated as a distinct reporting period.

  • Foreign Assistance

    Foreign Assistance on this website is defined in Section 634(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) as "...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..." This section further states that "...provided by the United States Government' includes, but is not limited to, foreign assistance provided by means of gift, loan, sale, credit, or guaranty."

    The executive agent and place of performance do not determine whether an official transfer is foreign assistance. Such designation is based on whether foreign entities receive direct benefits from programs supported by USG funds without paying for them. Most executive agents for USG assistance programs are U.S. entities. While authorized primarily under FAA, USG foreign assistance is also authorized by other legislation. Similarly, USG foreign assistance is primarily under appropriations within budget function 150, International Affairs, in annual presentations of the Budget of the U.S. Government.

  • Funding Account

    Budgetary accounts composed of moneys collected and spent by the federal government other than those designated as trust funds. Federal fund accounts include general, special, public enterprise, and intra-governmental fund accounts.

    The Treasury Account Symbol (TAS) refers to the account identification codes assigned by the Department of the Treasury to individual appropriation, receipt, or other fund accounts. http://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsreports/ref/fastBook/fastbook_home.htm

  • Funding Agency

    The agency to which funds for U.S. foreign assistance were appropriated, with the exception of the Executive Office of the President (EOP). For foreign assistance appropriated through EOP, the agency actually obligating the aid (USAID, State Department, Treasury Department, etc.) is reported as the funding agency.

  • Grant

    Transfers of goods, services, or cash for which the recipient incurs no legal debt.

  • Implementing Agency

    The agency which actually obligates and disburses the U.S. foreign assistance, either directly or via an implementing partner entity. The implementing agency for a foreign aid activity may or may not differ from the appropriated (funding) agency.

  • Implementing Partner

    The government agency, private firm, organization or other party that receives the funds from an Implementing Agency to carry out specific U.S. foreign assistance work. For example: an organization or party that has an assistance (grant/agreement/compact) or acquisition (contract) relationship with the Implementing Agency to use foreign assistance funds; a country's government or ministry that receives a direct contribution from the USG; a USG agency or entity that directly carries out the foreign assistance work.

  • Loan

    Transfers for which the recipient incurs a legal debt and repayment is required over time, with or without interest, in convertible currencies or in kind.

  • Military Assistance

    Foreign aid for programs primarily for the benefit of recipient government armed forces, or aid which subsidizes or substantially enhances military capability. Military assistance excludes humanitarian and non-military development programs funded by the U.S. Department of Defense; these programs are categorized as ‘Economic Assistance’.

  • Obligation

    A binding agreement that will result in outlays, immediately or in the future. Budget resources must be available before obligations can be legally incurred.

  • Official Development Assistance (ODA)

    Grants or Loans to countries and territories on Part I of the DAC List of Aid Recipients (developing countries) which are:

    • undertaken by the official sector;
    • with promotion of economic development and welfare as the main objective;
    • at concessional financial terms [if a loan, having a grant element of at least 25 percent].

    In addition to financial flows, Technical co-operation is included in aid. Grants, loans, and credits for military purposes are excluded. For the treatment of the forgiveness of loans originally extended for military purposes. Transfer payments to private individuals (e.g., pensions, reparations or insurance payouts) are in general not counted.

  • Purpose

    The inherent purpose or objective of a foreign aid activity (e.g. basic nutrition, public finance management, or telecommunications). The ‘purpose’ classification follows the international standard maintained by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC). http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/purposecodessectorclassification.htm . ‘Purposes of aid’ are components of aid sectors.

  • Net Obligations

    The sum of new grant obligations and deobligations.

  • Sector

    Foreign aid is into categorized by distinct sectors that describe what the program does (e.g. health, energy, agriculture). The ‘sector’ classification follows the international standard maintained the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC). http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/purposecodessectorclassification.htm . Sectors are aggregations of ‘purposes of aid’.

  • What is the proper citation for data from this web site?

    The citation should include:

    Title: Foreign Aid Explorer: The official record of U.S. foreign aid
    Author: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

  • What is the difference between the U.S. Foreign Aid and Official Development Assistance (ODA)?

    U.S. Foreign Aid is defined in Section 634(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended. U.S. Foreign Aid includes economic and military assistance on an U.S. fiscal year (October 1 – September 30) basis for all countries. Official Development Assistance is defined by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC). Official Development Assistance (ODA) is the international standard for reporting and comparing assistance among donors. As such, ODA is reported on a calendar year basis to only ODA-eligible countries and follows a comprehensive methodology as agreed by the donor members.

  • What is the difference between "Current" and "Constant"?

    Current dollar amounts are unadjusted, actual values. Constant dollar amounts are inflation-adjusted values. The constant dollar series allows users to evaluate, on a comparable basis, U.S. foreign assistance from different time periods. Data are in constant 2015 $US.

  • Why can't I find account data for years before 1999?

    Prior to FY1999 the Greenbook compilers did not include all individual accounts in the data files. The procedures were enhanced and changed in 1999 when the task of producing the Greenbook was transferred to the current contractor. For years 1999 and forward, the user can find comprehensive account data in both print publications and the companion website.

  • Why can’t I find detailed data for years before 2001?

    Prior to 2001 the data reported to USAID did not contain the detailed information. The procedures were enhanced and changed in 2004 when the task of producing both the mandated reports to Congress and the mandated USAAR to the OECD/DAC were combined. The team responsible went to great effort to build out detailed data starting from 2001 forward.

  • Why is there a year listed as 1976TQ?

    1976TQ contains funding data for a transitional quarter. The transitional quarter was an accounting device to accommodate the 1976 change of the U.S. Government fiscal year from July 1–June 30, to October 1–September 30.

  • Why are there revisions to historical data?

    The timeliness of reporting varies by agency and program. For example, food aid and military assistance historically have significant lag in reporting and, therefore, are often subject to revision. As with most time series datasets, historical revisions are necessary to improve the accuracy and consistency. Finally, when a methodology change occurs, the new methodology is applied to historical if possible.

  • What data are included in the "Region" groupings?

    Assistance that cannot be assigned to a specific benefitting country is assigned to a geographic regional recipient, denoted by a suffix “Region”, at the lowest level of granularity possible. There is no overlap or duplicate reporting to “Region” recipients. For example, aid identified as benefitting the Caribbean region is assigned to Caribbean Region. Aid identified as benefitting all of Latin America and the Caribbean, not just the Caribbean, is assigned to Latin America and Caribbean Region. Total foreign assistance is the sum of aid to each and all “Region” recipients and the specific benefitting countries.

  • If no data are available for a particular country for a given year or program, does that mean there wasn't any foreign aid given to that country for that year or program?

    Yes, "no data are available" means there wasn't any foreign aid given to that country for that year/program.

  • Do you have more recent data than I currently see on your website?

    No. Foreign aid data collection and reporting takes time. We post preliminary data as quickly as possible once we receive it from a submitting agency or office and complete initial processing and validation. The data will be finalized when all reporting for the fiscal and calendar year are completed. It is important to note some Agencies are able to submit quarterly, while other Agencies are only able to submit annually.

  • What are the differences between the Foreign Aid Explorer and foreignassistance.gov?

    The Foreign Aid Explorer presents a comprehensive, multi-dimensional picture of U.S. foreign assistance.

    Difference in Reporting Responsibilities

    The Foreign Aid Explorer website replaces two separate websites USAID has managed for more than 10 years. The first was the companion site for the Congressionally-mandated “U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants” report, informally called the Greenbook. The second was the companion site to the U.S. Annual Assistance Report (USAAR), which is mandated for U.S. membership in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC) – this includes Official Development Assistance (ODA). USAID has been responsible for reporting the Greenbook since 1962 and the USAAR since the late 1990s.

    Foreignassistance.gov is responsible for reporting to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).

    Difference in Agency Coverage

    The Foreign Aid Explorer reports comprehensively on all U.S. Government Agencies (about 30).

    Foreignassistance.gov reports on foreign aid for 10 U.S. Government Agencies.

    Difference in Data Quality

    Data posted to the Foreign Aid Explorer are cleaned, standardized, validated, and coded to meet the dual U.S.G. official foreign aid reporting requirements – the Greenbook (to Congress) and the USAAR (to the OECD/DAC). Data are checked to ensure there are no duplicates within U.S.G. submissions and that no records are missing required values. Data are also checked against a variety of official U.S.G. documents.

    On foreignassistance.gov, U.S. Government reporting Agencies are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of data provided. Data are considered ready for publication on the Foreign Assistance Dashboard following submission.

    Difference in Time Series

    The Foreign Aid Explorer reports comprehensively, both aggregate historical (1946-2000) data and detailed (2001-Present) data.

    ForeignAssistance.gov only reports data from 2005 to the present. ForeignAssistance.gov does include planned data.

    Difference in Data Presented

    The Foreign Aid Explorer reports obligations and disbursements. Budget Data is not included and is not required for reporting to Congress or the OECD.

    ForeignAssistance.gov reports obligations, disbursements and budget data.

  • Why are negative values reported for obligations or disbursements?

    Negative obligations represent de-obligations, which are cancellation or downward adjustments of previously incurred obligations. De-obligated funds may be re-obligated within the same time period. Negative disbursements appear for reconciliations and corrections.

  • What is the source of the data on the Foreign Aid Explorer Website?

    The data come from the submitting Agencies financial systems and other U.S.G. reports and publications.

For questions please contact USAID's Economic Analysis and Data Services at eads@usaid.gov.


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