Week Six: Exploring the Abbreviations of Aid


This week, I noticed how many abbreviations are used in the discussion about foreign aid, loans, and other types of foreign policies. I wanted to start out by learning what each one stood for and what they meant.


CAP (Consolidated Appeals Process): “an advocacy tool for humanitarian financing” where the target is long-term development

CHAP (Common Humanitarian Action Plan): “outlines humanitarian action in a given country or region. It provides: – Analysis of the context in which humanitarian takes place; – Best, worst, and most likely scenarios; – Analysis of need and a statement of priorities; – Roles and responsibilities, i.e. who does what and where; and – A clear link to longer-term objectives and goals; – A framework for monitoring the strategy and revising it if necessary”

GNI (Gross national income): “the total domestic and foreign output claimed by residents of a country”

ODA (Official development assistance): “flows to countries and territories on the DAC List of ODA Recipients and to multilateral institutions which are:

i.  provided by official agencies, including state and local governments, or by their executive agencies; and

ii.  each transaction of which:

a)  is administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its main objective; and
b)  is concessional in character and conveys a grant element of at least 25 per cent (calculated at a rate of discount of 10 per cent)”

USAID (United States Agency for International Development): “the United States federal government agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid”

PCD (Policy Coherence for Development): “an approach and policy tool for integrating the economic, social, environmental and governance dimensions of sustainable development at all stages of domestic and international policy making”

MDG (Millennium Development Goals): “eight international development goals that were established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration”

Liberia and Namibia

In 2007, there was a CHAP for Liberia. It was estimated that a total of $117 million dollars would be needed for humanitarian support in Liberia to help fund “healthcare, safe water and appropriate sanitation, shelter and education” (UNOCH) because these basic rights were still not available to most Liberians.

The images below show the GNI in Liberia, Namibia, and the United States (all graphs from Google).

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Liberia received $571 million in ODA in 2012, with a major portion of the aid coming from the United States and Japan.

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Liberia ODA

In comparison, Namibia received less than half of the net ODA that Liberia received in 2012. Again, a major portion of the aid came from the United States as well as Germany.

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Namibia ODA

According to the USAID government website,  USAID has aid plans in Liberia that focus on Agriculture and Food Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance, Economic Growth and Trade, Education, Environment, Global Health, and Working in Crisis and Conflict. For example, the website says, “Liberia’s war years, 1989 to 2003, decimated basic infrastructure, including water and sanitation, electricity, roads, education, and health services – factors that contribute to the spread of disease and premature mortality. GDP per capita is among the lowest in Africa, so people’s ability to pay for health care is extremely limited”. This shows the importance of why improving the health care  in Liberia is so important, especially now with the ebola epidemic.

Namibia has similar plans and goals in place, with the addition of improving water conditions. The USAID Namibia website says:

Namibia and its neighbours, Botswana and Angola, suffer from frequent floods and devastating droughts, and too many people live in abject poverty and have limited access to adequate water and sanitation services.

USAID through its Southern African Regional Environmental Program (SAREP) is addressing these issues by improving the water supply and sanitation services, as well as conserving biodiversity within the Okavango River Basin. This basin supports the livelihoods of more than 880,000 people in Namibia, Angola and Botswana.


Sources: CAP, CHAP, GNI, ODA, USAID, PCD, MDG, UNOCH, Liberia ODA, Namibia ODA, USAID: Liberia,


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