Beginning your research - Find statistical and other background information
Infoplease - Countries of the World Nations of the world with information on a variety of subjects, including geography, government, history, and economy.
Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids For students kindergarten through 12th grade. Topics include historical documents, the branches of government, how laws are made, national versus state government, the election process, and citizenship.
CIA World Factbook A publication of the Central Intelligence Agency, particularly useful for its statistical coverage. Subjects covered include communications, economy, geography, government, military, people, transportation, and transnational issues.
FedStats access to publicly available statistics produced by more than seventy U.S. government agencies. Includes fun facts, games, project ideas, and career information.
U.S. Department of State Background Notes Produced by the U.S. Department of State, background notes provide up-to-date information about the economy, government, history, land, people, political conditions, and foreign relations of more than 190 nations and dependencies. Information provided for each nation also includes a list of current government leaders.
Library of Congress Country Studies In-depth information on approximately 101 countries and regions (not including U.S., Canada, United Kingdom). Includes history and background as well as the social, economic, and political institution.
Foreign Government Data Sources Sources of international statistics, including a comprehensive list of statistical Web sites organized alphabetically by country.
United States and Foreign Aid
The primary federal government agency responsible for implementing America’s foreign economic and humanitarian aid programs is the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Established in 1961 under the provisions of the Foreign Assistance Act, USAID provides assistance to nations in four regions of the world:
Foreign Aid: An Introductory Overview of U.S. Programs and Policy current information and analysis of all U.S. foreign aid programs, including pie charts and other graphics.
Budget of the United States Government Access the U.S. budget from 1996 to the present. You can also choose to explore the current U.S. budget by department. For U.S. foreign aid, see under “Department of State and International Assistance Programs.” The files are in PDF format.
U.S. Foreign Military Assistance Database on U.S. military assistance as well as descriptions for various U.S. economic and security assistance programs.
U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants (Greenbook) complete historical record of U.S. foreign aid, including detailed information on foreign aid for the last four years as well as summary data on U.S. foreign assistance since 1945. This Web resource also has a section offering useful tips for researchers.
Statistical Abstract of the United States Statistical information on U.S. for foreign aid and related areas, go to Section 28: Foreign Commerce and Aid.
Millenium Challenge Corporation Created as a new foreign aid agency in 2004, the Millenium Challenge Corporation provides support in areas such as agriculture, education, and private sector development.
The Role of Foreign Aid in Development (Congressional Budget Office) Prepared by the Congressional Budget Office, this informative study looks at the pros and cons of foreign aid and whether or not foreign aid supports or undermines development. The study also offers an analysis of U.S. foreign aid policy from 1945 through 1997.
Foreign Aid (Council on Foreign Relations) The nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations offers this interesting discussion of current issues in U.S. foreign aid.
International Aid Agencies
International agencies offer assistance of various types with the goals of promoting economic growth in poorer countries and stabilizing the world monetary system.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Founded in 1945 and consisting of 184 member countries. IMF provides research, technical assistance, and financial aid to low income countries.
The World Bank's primary goal is the reduction of poverty through knowledge sharing, policy advice, technical assistance, and loans. Assessing Aid: Rethinking the Money and Ideas of Aid
United Nations Development Programme works with nations in the areas of crisis prevention, energy and environment, democratic governance, HIV/AIDS, and poverty reduction. One of its major efforts is to coordinate global and national efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals.
Contact us through our Ask A Librarian Service, call (410) 396-5430, or write:
Enoch Pratt Free Library
State Library Resource Center
400 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Or, if you are outside of Maryland, contact your local library.