Home / Government / Articles / Which countries receive the most foreign aid from the US?

Each year, Congress appropriates foreign assistance based on national security, commercial, and humanitarian interests. This aid is then distributed to foreign governments, international agencies, such as the United Nations or World Health Organization, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as Save the Children and the International Rescue Committee.

These entities use foreign aid to carry out projects targeting specific goals, such as poverty reduction, humanitarian support, military assistance, and educational services. Foreign aid comes in multiple forms, including funds, goods, services, and technical assistance.

How much foreign aid does the US give?

The US has given out over $3.8 trillion in foreign aid (adjusted for inflation) since the end of World War II.[1] [2]

US foreign aid has varied over time due to various geopolitical circumstances, economic conditions, and national priorities. At its height in 1949, US foreign aid totaled nearly $100 billion, while it bottomed out at just under $25 billion in 1997, both after adjusting for inflation.[3]

Between 1946 and 2022, the US has spent an average of $51.0 billion each year.

Foreign aid peaked in the years following World War II due to the Marshall Plan, which provided economic assistance to restore the infrastructure of postwar Europe. Though the Marshall Plan was passed in 1948, the US delivered substantial aid to European countries in 1947 and continued for several years after funding for the Marshall Plan ended in 1951.

Aid began falling in the 1950s, though the nation sent large aid packages sent to South Vietnam, South Korea, Israel, and other countries, during the Cold War.

Embed on your website

Foreign aid increased beginning in 2003 following the US invasion of Iraq. Since then, a large portion of US foreign aid has been directed towards Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Foreign aid in recent years

In 2022, the United States provided nearly $74 billion in aid to over 150 countries and territories, as well as 30 regional funds that go to multiple countries, and a fund for international institutions and NGOs.

Ukraine received the most US foreign aid in 2022: ($12.4 billion) in the form of military and economic assistance during the first year of the Russo-Ukrainian war. This was followed by Israel ($3.3 billion), Ethiopia ($2.2 billion), Afghanistan ($1.4 billion), and Yemen ($1.4 billion).

Embed on your website

Which countries receive the most foreign aid?

Between 1946 and 2024, over $1 trillion, or roughly 30% of all US foreign aid, has gone to five countries: Israel ($337.0 billion), Egypt ($198.9 billion), former South Vietnam ($193.8 billion), Afghanistan ($168.5 billion), and South Korea ($127.6 billion), after adjusting for inflation.

Embed on your website

There are different reasons the US provides aid to each of these countries.

The US has maintained close ties with Israel since the country’s creation in 1948.[4] Most of America’s foreign aid to Israel has historically been for military purposes, helping the country develop a missile defense system, among other projects.

Egypt has received substantial foreign aid from the US since 1975, mainly as an extension of efforts to alleviate Arab-Israeli tensions. The US also supports Egypt through military assistance, though total contributions have declined year over year.

The US provided substantial foreign aid during the conflicts in South Vietnam and Afghanistan to bolster the nations’ economic infrastructure. Aid also helped enhance both nations’ defense capabilities to address instability and counterterrorism.

And lastly, South Korea received foreign aid from the US for a variety of reasons, from rebuilding the nation following World War II and the Korean War, to developing the economy and improving infrastructure during the 1960s and 1970s due to geopolitical interests in the region.

Explore foreign aid by country

Embed on your website

Why does the US give foreign aid to other countries? 

The United States provides foreign aid to other countries for several reasons: it helps promote global stability, advance US national security interests, and address humanitarian needs. Foreign aid can support economic development, improve healthcare and education, strengthen democratic institutions, and foster diplomatic relationships.

By assisting other nations, the US aims to create more prosperous and secure environments, prevent conflicts, and build partnerships. According to a 2022 Congressional Research Service report, foreign aid can enhance the United States' global influence, address global challenges, and promote shared values. These objectives align with US government sources and policies on foreign assistance.

Learn more from USAFacts and get the data directly in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter.

US Agency for International Development
Last updated
May 4, 2023

This estimate only includes aid up to 2022, as 2023 is considered incomplete by USAID.


The data from the Department of Defense since 2020 is partially complete and subject to possible updates.


Data for 1976 contains an extra quarter of foreign aid from July 1 to September 30 due to the change in the US government’s fiscal year which occurred.


Formal diplomatic relations between Israel and the US began on March 28, 1949.