Top USAID grant implementers for 2016

By Ezekiel Carlo Orlina 26 May 2017

In Nigeria, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s flagship Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program, led by Jhpiego, supports women’s savings clubs. Photo by: Karen Kasmauski / MCHIP

The United States Agency for International Development grant spending increased from $10.75 billion in 2015 to $11.08 billion in 2016. This $300 million increase occurred as 2016 USAID contract spending decreased by $200 million. As in previous years, the U.S. aid agency’s grant spending outstripped its contract spending by a significant margin.

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USAID continues to channel a large share of its grants to multilateral organizations, such as the World Bank and United NationsWorld Food Programme. In 2016, total grant funding for these two organizations reached $3.46 billion, or 31.21 percent of USAID’s entire obligated grant funding for the year. Meanwhile, grants for other U.N.-affiliated agencies combine for an additional $1.41 billion, with UNICEF ($363 million), Gavi Alliance ($235 million), International Organization for Migration ($211 million), World Health Organization ($153 million) and United Nations Development Programme ($136 million) among the organizations which received the most money.

The Trump administration has proposed significant budget cuts to development assistance which, if enacted, could affect future grants to many multilateral organizations. Trump has promised specifically to re-evaluate contributions to the U.N. and “rein in costs.” Further, the administration’s expansion of the “global gag rule” means that those health organizations receiving USAID grants will face a difficult choice over delivering family planning services. USAID’s food and disaster assistance units, another prominent source of grants, face a possible merger under Trump.

In 2016, cooperative agreements — or grants requiring close collaboration with USAID during implementation — comprised a significant portion of USAID grant giving. Of the top 20 grant recipients, eight were reported to have received 100 percent of their grant funding through cooperative agreements, while another four exceeded 95 percent. In the past five years, cooperative agreements accounted for an average of 47.64 percent of USAID’s obligated grant funding.

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About the author

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Ezekiel Carlo Orlina

Ezekiel is a senior development analyst and team leader at Devex. His primary role is monitoring and reporting on project opportunities and trends of leading multilateral and bilateral donor agencies. A graduate of Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Political Science, Ezekiel has extensive global development research experience having also worked at the World Youth Alliance, Asia and the Pacific (WYAAP).

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