Carter: Rich Countries ‘Don’t Give a Damn’ About Poor
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter criticized rich countries, including the United States, for being stingy in aid to poor countries, saying “We really don’t give a damn.”
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Thursday harshly criticized his own country and other wealthy states for being stingy with foreign aid and said in rich countries “We really don’t give a damn.” In a speech to a human rights conference in Atlanta, Carter said increasing financial assistance was critical to battling malaria, AIDS and other common diseases that disproportionately affect the poorest parts of the world. “Unfortunately, in the rich countries like ours, we really don’t give a damn,” said Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1981 and who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.
He especially criticized the United States for failing to follow other Western nations which are increasing spending. Although America tops the foreign aid donor list in dollar terms, it falls behind the Netherlands, Canada and many other smaller, less affluent nations when contributions are measured on a per capita basis. U.S. foreign aid is approximately 0.18 percent of gross national product, the lowest of any G-7 nation and far below a 0.7 percent United Nations target that 22 of the world’s developed nations have agreed to meet by 2015.
It’s about time for Americans to quite giving a damn what Carter thinks.