Elections & Government
The US spent $4.89 billion in foreign assistance to Afghanistan in 2019, according to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and State Department data from ForeignAssistance.gov.
Total foreign aid to Afghanistan has dropped since 2018, as military aid decreased by $1.4 billion and economic aid increased by $226.4 million in 2019. The peak of $15.3 billion occurred in 2011, when the US spent $11.8 billion on military assistance to the country. Despite the decrease in aid from a decade ago, Afghanistan was the largest recipient of foreign assistance in 2019, followed by Israel at $3.3 billion.
The US Overseas Loans and Grants data, also known as the Greenbook, breaks down historical data on economic and military spending in Afghanistan. Military aid primarily benefits government armed forces. It does not include the cost of US combat operations. Economic aid is for broad development of the country’s economy and can include non-military security support.
Military spending was 70% of total foreign aid or $91.4 billion to Afghanistan since 2001. Internationally, the military to economic aid ratio is the opposite of Afghanistan's — with 30% of foreign assistance spent on the military. The US spent $3.7 billion on military foreign aid to the country in 2019. No other countries received more military foreign aid that year. According to the Greenbook, $3.64 billion of military assistance went to the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund. The rest of the funding was dispersed between defense operations and maintenance; drug interdiction and counter-drug activities; and international military education and training.
Economic aid was $39 billion or 30% of total foreign aid to Afghanistan since 2001. Economic aid to the country peaked in 2010, at $4.8 billion. In 2019, the US spent $1.2 billion on economic aid to the country. According to the Greenbook data, international narcotics control and law enforcement; and international disaster and famine assistance were the biggest three programs to receive economic aid. Together, they constituted 87% of the 2019 economic obligations to Afghanistan. Nonproliferation, anti-terrorism, demining and related programs are characterized as economic aid by the agency, accounting for around $41 million of the 2019 total.
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