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Bilateral Aid to Latin America: Foreign Economic Assistance from Major Donor Nations ...

Chapter 1:  Introduction
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Bilateral Aid to Latin America:

Chapter 1

Introduction

In this book I provide a comprehensive, detailed account of the bilateral economic assistance of six major donor countries—the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, and China—to the nations of Latin America. I focus on assistance structured to meet basic human needs, enhance social equity, promote economic growth, preserve natural environments, and support political reform. I highlight the similarities and differences among these bilateral assistance programs and explore the underlying motivations of each donor country. In so doing, I provide a foundation for understanding the nature and impact of such assistance to Latin America.

Economic assistance remains critical for the nations of Latin America. Tens of millions of people throughout the region live below the poverty line and lack reliable access to clean water, sufficient nutrition, primary healthcare, or adequate education. Approximately 69 million people live in extreme poverty and another 96 million people live below the poverty line.1 The region is also characterized by intense inequality—especially along gender and ethnic lines—and faces severe environmental threats.