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Netherlands and Nordic countries in lead as rich-country donors

Japan and South Korea are at the bottom of a list released on Thursday that measures rich governments’ efforts to help build prosperity in poor countries around the world.

The United States also scored low, ranking 17th out of the 22 countries on the 2008 Commitment to Development Index, produced annually by the Center for Global Development, an independent think tank that works to reduce global poverty.

The Netherlands was at the top of the list, followed by Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The index uses data to measure and rank governments on aid, trade, migration, technology and investment policies, as well as how they handle environment and security matters.

South Korea ranked last, the group said, because of a “very small foreign aid program, the highest barriers to developing-country exports of all CDI countries, and the low number of unskilled immigrants entering from developing countries as a share of the South Korean population.”

Japan, second to last, was said to have a small aid program as a percentage of gross domestic product and limited immigration and imports. The group faulted the United States “because a big chunk of its aid goes to countries that lack the ability to use it well but where the US has geopolitical interests, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.”

The Netherlands was praised for its large foreign aid and strong support for investment. (Economic Times)