Israel's Foreign Aid to Africa & UN Voting: An Empirical Examination

Carmela Lutmar, Leah Mandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


According to International Relations scholarship, the main formal motivation for foreign aid is usually the unexpressed expectation for improvement of bilateral relations and overall international support. There is an anticipation that aid recipients will not "forget" their donors on the international stage, in particularly during important sessions at the UNGA. We test this assertion empirically on the case of Israeli foreign aid to African countries, using data on Israeli Official Development Aid provisions between 1997 and 2014, and data on voting patterns of aid recipients in the UN General Assembly (UNGA). Our results testify that Israeli bilateral humanitarian foreign aid not only has not provided its expected diplomatic revenues, but may perhaps even hindered African states' support in the UN. Concomitantly, our results testify that Israeli Official Development Aid (ODA) does not have the anticipated long term effects on international support towards Israel, but instead only a short-lived influence. The results are informative about the usefulness of foreign aid as a diplomatic tool, with important policy implications for decision makers in Israel and worldwide.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number20190035
JournalPeace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • UN voting
  • foreign aid
  • political economy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Sociology and Political Science


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