U.S. foreign aid has been a popular punching bag for lawmakers and the public over the years whenever the topic of excessive government spending comes up.
Indeed, about a third of the public believes that foreign aid makes up between 30 percent and 50 percent of the entire federal budget, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. In a national poll on the subject last year, a mere one in 20 knew that less than 1 percent of the $4 trillion annual federal budget goes to foreign aid.
According to HowMuch.net, the U.S. government provided roughly $35 billion in economic and military aid to more than 140 countries in fiscal 2014. The biggest beneficiaries were the country’s two closest allies in the Middle East: Israel, which received $3.1 billion, and Egypt, with $1.5 billion. Next in line were Afghanistan ($1.1 billion), Jordan ($1 billion) and Pakistan ($933 million).
Below is a map showing the global reach and distribution of U.S. foreign aid.