US continues to be the highest donor by volume of the OECD countries

Here’s an interactive update on ODAs from the OECD. It’s a simple, straightforward series, worth clicking through if you like seeing the big picture. The most relevant is that the US still remains the top donor in absolute terms (followed by Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Japan – all present in Cambodia except DfID who exited in 2011). This is despite a real drop of 0.9% from 2010.

Thankfully there’s a consensus among policymakers that foreign assistance is a critical component of foreign policy, even in the midst of calls for massive cuts during this election year. Seriously, US political “debates” are like tragicomedies except it makes your head hurt because you’re aware it isn’t entertainment. But I digress.

Updating trends so that outdated cold/war priorities aren’t perpetuated, and harnessing the US’ strength in innovation, technology and product development to develop public-private partnerships are already being programmed in.

Cambodia could use a bit of these changes. I can’t see USAID funds drying up in Cambodia given the history of the two countries, plus its relative geopolitical importance in this region (ironic isn’t it). But we’ll see a lot of waste because of the China set.

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