Hudson Institute and Global Giving

Over the past 50 years, the West has given $2.3 trillion in Official Development Aid to the developing world with a lion's share flowing into sub-Saharan Africa. Despite so many aid dollars entering the continent, poverty still runs rampant. However, recent scholarship has shown that private giving not only far outweighs government funding, but it is often more strategic as well. 

The Center for Global Philanthropy at the Hudson Institute brings the astonishing figures of private giving to the forefront. Each year, the Hudson Institute produces a report on remittances and philanthropy in their Index on Global Philanthropy and Remittances.

According to the 2010 report (most recent available statistics from 2008), the United States was responsible for giving $26.8 billion in Official Development Aid with a lion’s share ($6.7 billion) of those dollars going to governments in sub-Saharan Africa. Though $26 billion is a lot of money, the private flows from the United States to the developing world outshine government giving. In 2008, the private sector was responsible for $37.3 billion in aid. Likewise, the remittance figures are stunning, with $98.6 billion flowing from families in the United States to the developing world. These figures together dwarf government aid flows by $107.3 billion.

Government aid flowing into sub-Saharan Africa can be problematic as it is often filtered through corrupt governments. Consequently, aid dollars seldom reach those who need it most. Private flows, on the other hand, often go directly to the communities, to individuals, or to agencies working on the ground.

With roughly $106 billion flowing from the American private sector, there is potential to leverage those dollars to act as effective agents of growth in Africa. 

Recognizing the enormous potential of private aid outflows, the Indiana-Africa Connections Project displays the incredible work of everyday Americans engaging with Africa.