Countries hoping to be some of the leading recipients of US foreign aid in 2018 showed they could not be bought, by voting on Wednesday against President Donald Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.
“The world is not for sale,” Caracas’s representative stated from the UN podium, explaining Venezuela’s opposition to Trump’s statement.
But it was easy for the Latin American country to stand so defiant, given that for the first time in six years, it is not slated to receive American funds.
Other countries had more to risk, according to the website foreignassistance.gov.
Egypt and Jordan, which are seeking billion-dollar aid packages, and nations such as Afghanistan, Nigeria, Iraq and Ethiopia, which are hoping for hundreds of millions of dollars, all voted against the United States.
Not everyone was that bold. Kenya, which is in the running for over half-a-million dollars of US taxpayers’ money, and which hosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this year, was conveniently out of the room when the vote was taken. As was Zambia, which is seeking some $400 million.
And the countries that stood with Israel, either by voting no or abstaining, are not necessarily on the receiving end of substantial US aid.
Haiti, of course, is hoping to receive assistance totaling close to $150 million. But Hungary, which also abstained, is likely to receive less than a million dollars, and Fiji is on the pending list for only $200,000.
Some of those that stood with Israel get similarly low packages, and yet have voted with Israel often in past resolutions. Among them is Togo, which is hoping to received only $300,000 from the US, and the Marshall Islands, which is not slated for any aid at all.
As for what the United States will do specifically, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said after the vote: “The president’s foreign policy team has been empowered to explore various options going forward; however, no decisions have been made.”Michael Wilner contributed to this report.