Stingy Americans?

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Is the U.S. being too tight-fisted when it comes to international aid?

The question follows a comment by a U.N. official who says that the world's richest nations have been "stingy" with aid for Asia's earthquake disaster.

The remark has irritated the Bush administration, which has made U.S. pledges expected to eventually rise to more than $1 billion.

The comment reopened the question of how to measure American generosity.

The U.S. government is always near the top in total humanitarian aid dollars, but it finishes near the bottom of the list of rich countries when that money is compared to gross national product.

So far, dozens of countries and relief groups had pledged $81 million in help for South Asia.

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