Foreign aid: What you need to know

A project to implement proper drainage systems by the European Union in Sri Lanka. Photo by: EU

Foreign aid is a catchall phrase that encompasses humanitarian relief and development aid given by multilateral, bilateral or other donors to alleviate suffering and boost economic growth around the world.

This short- and longer-term assistance again goes by many names – emergency relief, humanitarian aid, international aid, overseas aid and development assistance, for instance. Other terms commonly used include official development assistance, official aid and international cooperation.

Read more about these different terms:

  • Development Aid: What You Need to Know

  • International Development: What You Need to Know

  • European Development Aid: What You Need to Know

  • Global Health: What You Need to Know

Read more international development news.

About the author

  • Rolf Rosenkranz

    Rolf Rosenkranz oversees a talented team of in-house journalists, correspondents and guest contributors located around the globe. Since joining Devex in early 2008, Rolf has been instrumental in growing its fledgling news operation into the leading online source for global development news and analysis. Previously, Rolf was managing editor at Inside Health Policy, a subscription-based news service in Washington. He has reported from Africa for the Johannesburg-based Star and its publisher, Independent News & Media, as well as the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, a German daily.