Each year, Congress appropriates foreign assistance based on national security, commercial, and humanitarian interests.
In this map via Visual Capitalist's Bruno Venditti, USAFacts uses data from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to highlight the countries that received the largest portion of aid.
Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa received the largest portion of aid of any region in 2021.
US foreign aid by country, adjusted for inflation, 2021
Food Assistance and the War on Drugs
In 2021, the U.S. directed its aid towards nations grappling with internal conflicts and humanitarian crises.
Following the withdrawal of American troops that same year, Afghanistan emerged as the primary recipient of substantial aid, receiving billions of dollars annually as part of the humanitarian response.
Among the top countries benefiting from U.S. assistance are various African nations contending with both famine and internal conflicts. Notably, Colombia stands out in the top 10, receiving millions of dollars to combat drug trafficking.
Israel Leading in Aid Over Time
Since the end of World War II, the U.S. has disbursed more than $3.75 trillion in foreign aid (adjusted for inflation).
The post-war years saw foreign aid peak, primarily because of the Marshall Plan. This initiative aimed to assist in restoring the economic infrastructure of post-war Europe.
At its height in 1949, U.S. foreign aid totaled nearly $100 billion.
Israel has been by far the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance. Since the 1940s, Israel has received more than $300 billion, with most of it in military support, aiding the country in developing a missile defense system and other projects.