My history teacher said that the USA has offered aid to every other sovereign nation that has existed the same time at us. He defines aid as being humanitarian, economical, or militaristic. Is this claim true? I know it hard to prove a negative, but has there ever been a sovereign nation that the USA has never aided?

Note: I thought of the Confederacy, but apparently it was not a sovereign nation.

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    Perhaps Yucatán, Central America, Principality of Andorra, Principality of Liechtenstein, Republic of San Marino, Monaco, Nauru, Bavaria, Hesse, Württemberg, Baden, Saxony, Nassau, Bremen, Hamburg, Hannover, Lichtenberg, Lucca, Hohenzollern-Hechingen (I think you know where I'm going with this) etc
    – Semaphore
    Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 12:33
  • We have given aid to every country, except Samoa, because we hate the Samoans, because they are fat. Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 14:23
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    @TylerDurden Do you mean American Samoa?
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 16:46
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    Voting to close primarily because it is generating off topic rancor rather than scholarly history. @Semaphore made a good case that the question is trivial by pointing out a dozen or so countries that haven't received aid. I suspect that the teacher is defining "offer", "aid" and "sovereign country" in ways that do not facilitate scholarly discussion.
    – MCW
    Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 17:46
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    @DVK Removing my comments as our conversation is spamming the board. I would like to maintain the point that I believe it's naive to think that small players are not chained by the aid. At the very least refusing the chains that come with aid puts you on the "not my friend" list. A bit like how the mob can't guarantee your security when you don't listen. There's a long list of leaders who got overthrown in the 20th and 21st century for being on the "not my friend" list.
    – Juicy
    Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 17:56

2 Answers 2


The US very often offers aid, in cases of disaster as mentioned by Oldcat, but also to countries that are having economic or security issues. As pointed out by Semaphore the answer to the question is: No, not all countries that exist/ed at the same time as the US have been offered aid to

I also think it's important to understand what exactly is "aid" between governments and this isn't exactly what you would call "helping your friend".

Usually, when accepting aid, recipient countries can only spend the money in certain ways, with certain companies, from certain countries, often to the disadvantage of the aid recipient. An example:

However, non-government organization watch groups have noted that as much as 40% of aid to Afghanistan has found its way back to donor countries through awarding contracts at inflated costs.

So the donor country's economy benefits from these deals, and the recipient also has to pay it back eventually: "Double profit" for the donor. And if the recipient can't pay it back, well that may even be better for the donor. The recipient is now indebted towards it...

Other times, aid is given as a covert way of undermining unfriendly governments:

In situations where the U.S. is hostile to the government of a country, USAID may be asked to undertake programs that the government would not accept and thus to operate without the government's knowledge. This might include USAID support for opposition political movements that seek to remove the government. Such "political aid" is criticized by some as being incompatible with USAID's role as an assistance or cooperation agency and as exposing USAID staff worldwide to the suspicion of being covertly engaged in subversion.

Aid recipients are also expected to align themselves politically with the donor:

In 1990 when the Yemeni Ambassador to the United Nations, Abdullah Saleh al-Ashtal, voted against a resolution for a U.S.-led coalition to use force against Iraq, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Thomas Pickering walked to the seat of the Yemeni Ambassador and retorted: "That was the most expensive No vote you ever cast". Immediately afterwards, USAID ceased operations and funding in Yemen.

Wikipedia with sources for all three citations and other examples there

Recently, many recipient countries are taking steps to minimise or terminate USAID programs in their countries. USAID has a particularly bad reputation in South America, where ALBA countries are demanding it cease operations, and the Middle East:

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It is a bit naïve to think that large powerful governments can allow themselves to be altruistic. Usually their job is to work for profit, economical or political.

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    Picking Nits to an otherwise good answer: The country's name is Myanmar and U.S.A.I.D. is an acronym, so it should be USAID.
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 19:04

I'm sure that in the case of disaster relief, the US offers any aid that they can as a matter of routine. Often this involves military units, since they have the vehicles and training to go into areas where the infrastructure has been destroyed, and they are able to move at a moment's notice to remote parts of the world.

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