Foreign Assistance Act

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Foreign Assistance Act
Great Seal of the United States.
Other short title(s) Act for International Development of 1961
Long title An Act to promote the foreign policy, security, and general welfare of the United States by assisting peoples of the world in their efforts toward economic and social development and internal and external security, and for other purposes.
Nickname(s) Foreign Assistance Act of 1961
Enacted by the  87th United States Congress
Effective September 4, 1961
Citations
Public Law 87-195
Stat. 75 Stat. 424-2
Codification
Title(s) amended 22 U.S.C.: Foreign Relations and Intercourse
U.S.C. sections created 22 U.S.C. ch. 32 § 2151
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the Senate as S. 1983
  • Passed the Senate on August 18, 1961 (66-24)
  • Passed the House on September 5, 1961 (270-123, in lieu of H.R. 9033)
  • Reported by the joint conference committee on August 31, 1961; agreed to by the Senate on August 31, 1961 (69-24) and by the House on August 31, 1961 (260-132)
  • Signed into law by President John F. Kennedy on September 4, 1961
Major amendments
Foreign Assistance Act of 1974

The Foreign Assistance Act (Pub.L. 87–195, 75 Stat. 424-2, enacted September 4, 1961, 22 U.S.C. § 2151 et seq.) is a United States Act of Congress. The Act reorganized the structure of existing U.S. foreign assistance programs, separated military from non-military aid, and created a new agency, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to administer those non-military, economic assistance programs. On November 3, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed the Act and issued Executive Order 10973, detailing the reorganization.[1]

The agency unified already existing U.S. aid efforts, combining the economic and technical assistance operations of the International Cooperation Administration, the loan activities of the Development Loan Fund, the local currency functions of the Export-Import Bank, and the agricultural surplus distribution activities of the Food for Peace program of the Department of Agriculture.

This act states that no assistance will be provided to a government which "engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, including torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without charges, causing the disappearance of persons by the abduction and clandestine detention of those persons, or other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, and the security of person, unless such assistance will directly benefit the needy people in such country".[2]

This Act was amended in 2004 specific to the treatment of orphans and other vulnerable children. This amendment allows the president to provide aid to the peoples of other countries to look after children in cases of HIV/AIDS and to set up schools and other programs for the advancement of child treatment.

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