If nothing else the recent speech of Nikki Haley, US Ambassador at the UN, revealed the reality of aid giving by the developed world to the developing world. Its a tool of their foreign policy. It was made quite clear by her how she expected those who received aid from the US were expected to vote at UNGA deliberation on Jerusalem, just before Christmas. It was not dissimilar to when George Bush told the world you are either with us or against us after the appalling events of 9/11. In many ways she was a lot more stark by suggesting that the US would note how countries voted on this matter.
The map above should change the way you think about foreign aid, as it mostly goes to countries that are not poor. Israel for example is the biggest recipient of US Aid, with three times as much as the second highest recipient Egypt in the Middle East. This out of a total US aid budget of $35 billion. It is a very important part of the soft power that superpowers can exert, yet it was exerted in a very hard and blunt manner by the US Ambassador to the UN.
Nikki Haley has gone further by announcing that the United States are negotiating a $285 million cut in the United Nations’ “bloated” budget for next year, from the 22 per cent of UN funding that it contributes across all its activities, including peace keeping activities. It will be interesting to see who makes up the gap. But it certainly leaves an opportunity for other players around the world to take up this opportunity to exert more soft power through the UN system, in the geo-politics of the world. So l suspect that others will not miss this opportunity.