Foreign Assistance Act

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Foreign Assistance Act
Great Seal of the United States
Other short titles
  • Act for International Development of 1961
  • Foreign Aid Authorization Act of 1961
Long title An Act to promote the foreign policy, security, and general welfare of the United States by assisting peoples of the world in their efforts toward economic and social development and internal and external security, and for other purposes.
Nicknames Foreign Assistance Act of 1961
Enacted by the 87th United States Congress
Effective September 4, 1961
Public law 87-195
Statutes at Large 75 Stat. 424-2
Titles amended 22 U.S.C.: Foreign Relations and Intercourse
U.S.C. sections created 22 U.S.C. ch. 32 § 2151
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the Senate as S. 1983
  • Passed the Senate on August 18, 1961 (66–24)
  • Passed the House on September 5, 1961 (270–123, in lieu of H.R. 9033)
  • Reported by the joint conference committee on August 31, 1961; agreed to by the Senate on August 31, 1961 (69–24) and by the House on August 31, 1961 (260–132)
  • Signed into law by President John F. Kennedy on September 4, 1961
Major amendments
Foreign Assistance Act of 1974

The Foreign Assistance Act (Pub.L. 87–195, 75 Stat. 424-2, enacted September 4, 1961, 22 U.S.C. § 2151 et seq.) is a United States Act of Congress. The Act reorganized the structure of existing U.S. foreign assistance programs, separated military from non-military aid, and created a new agency, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to administer those non-military, economic assistance programs. On November 3, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed the Act and issued Executive Order 10973, detailing the reorganization.[1]

The agency unified already existing U.S. aid efforts, combining the economic and technical assistance operations of the International Cooperation Administration, the loan activities of the Development Loan Fund, the local currency functions of the Export-Import Bank, and the agricultural surplus distribution activities of the Food for Peace program of the Department of Agriculture.

This act states that no assistance will be provided to a government which "engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, including torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without charges, causing the disappearance of persons by the abduction and clandestine detention of those persons, or other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, and the security of person, unless such assistance will directly benefit the needy people in such country."[2]

This Act was amended in 2004 specific to the treatment of orphans and other vulnerable children. This amendment allows the president to provide aid to the peoples of other countries to look after children in cases of HIV/AIDS and to set up schools and other programs for the advancement of child treatment.[citation needed]

Amendments to 1961 Act

Chronological timeline of amendments and revisions to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

Date of Enactment Public Law Number U.S. Statute Citation U.S. Legislative Bill U.S. Presidential Administration
August 1, 1962 P.L. 87-565 76 Stat. 255 S. 2996 John F. Kennedy
December 16, 1963 P.L. 88-205 77 Stat. 379 H.R. 7885 Lyndon B. Johnson
October 7, 1964 P.L. 88-633 78 Stat. 1009 H.R. 11380 Lyndon B. Johnson
September 6, 1965 P.L. 89-171 79 Stat. 653 H.R. 7750 Lyndon B. Johnson
March 18, 1966 P.L. 89-371 80 Stat. 74 H.R. 12169 Lyndon B. Johnson
September 19, 1966 P.L. 89-583 80 Stat. 795-3 H.R. 15750 Lyndon B. Johnson
November 14, 1967 P.L. 90-137 81 Stat. 445 S. 1872 Lyndon B. Johnson
October 8, 1968 P.L. 90-554 82 Stat. 960 H.R. 15263 Lyndon B. Johnson
January 5, 1971 P.L. 91-652 84 Stat. 1942 H.R. 19911 Richard M. Nixon
December 30, 1974 P.L. 93-559 88 Stat. 1795 S. 3394 Gerald R. Ford
June 30, 1976 P.L. 94-329 90 Stat. 729 H.R. 13680 Gerald R. Ford

See also


  1. Executive Order 10973, 3 November 1961, Administration of Foreign Assistance and Related Functions
  2. "22 U.S. Code § 8422 - Authorization of assistance". Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 12 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links