Monday, July 11, 2005

More bad data...

From the media matter's web-site. The administration has perpetuated the falsehood that they have tripled spending on Africa. While there has been increased spending, it's more like a 50-70% increase over 2000 levels... not 200%.

How come these relatively simply statistics are so difficult to get right?


Budget data be damned! Mainstream media parrot Bush's false claim that U.S. aid to Africa has "tripled" since 2000


In fact, Bush has increased African aid by only 67 percent in nominal dollars, far from the 200 percent increase* that would constitute "tripling," according to Susan E. Rice, former assistant secretary of state for African affairs under President Clinton and now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Several "fact sheets" from the State Department (May 31, June 7, June 15, June 20), which administers most U.S. aid programs, repeat the "tripling" claim and add that the United States spent $3.2 billion on official development assistance (ODA) to Africa in 2004, compared to $1.1 billion in 2000. News outlets have repeated these dollar figures to flesh out the claim that U.S. aid has tripled.

But Rice compared U.S. spending on African aid in fiscal year 2000 with FY 2004 for each African aid program in the U.S. budget. She found that ODA programs -- including Bush's global AIDS initiative; the Millennium Challenge Account; debt relief; and several other initiatives -- totaled only about $1.5 billion in 2004, up 43 percent from about $1 billion in 2000. Total aid -- including ODA as well as peacekeeping; foreign military financing and training; disaster assistance for Liberia; post-conflict assistance for Sudan; and other non-ODA initiatives -- totaled about $3.4 billion, up 67 percent from about $2 billion in 2000.



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