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Dutch foreign aid ballooned to record $5.13 billion last year

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

PARIS - The Dutch government paid a record $5.13 billion last year in aid to developing countries, representing 0.82 percent of the Gross National Income. In 2004 and 2005, the Netherlands was one of very few countries in the world, which adhered to the United Nations norm of 0.7 percent for foreign aid. Last year, the U.S. only pledged 0.22 percent of its GNI to developing countries. Together, the countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development gave $106.5 billion in foreign aid last year, an increase of 31 percent over the previous year. Most of the increase is attributed to debt cancellations for Iraq and Nigeria and contributions to tsunami stricken countries in Southeast Asia.