Foreign Assistance

AID Energy Assistance and Global Warming Gao ID: NSIAD-91-221 July 16, 1991

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed energy sector assistance the Agency for International Development (AID) provided to developing countries, focusing on the: (1) priority AID gave to providing energy assistance; (2) distribution and focus of energy assistance; and (3) extent to which this assistance addresses global warming issues.

GAO found that: (1) providing energy assistance to developing countries remains a relatively low priority and comprised about three percent of AID total annual economic assistance; (2) most AID energy funding is concentrated in infrastructure support, primarily in Egypt and Pakistan; (3) due to limited funding in most countries, AID concentrates on providing technical expertise and promoting energy policy reforms that will both encourage energy efficiency and investment by the private sector and other donors; (4) most AID energy support is focused on the generation, distribution, and use of electricity; (5) in recent years, AID has increasingly focused its energy assistance toward goals that are compatible with concerns about carbon dioxide emissions associated with energy generation and use; (6) in June 1991, AID issued guidance to its missions on taking global warming into consideration when making programming decisions; and (7) although AID identified 7 countries and 2 regions as key countries to be targeted for the global warming initiative and has been supporting or planning relevant energy sector activities in those countries, AID has not shifted funding patterns to those countries to address such issues.

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