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The December 2004 South Asian tsunami and a remark by a U.N. official that rich countries are "stingy" sparked a national debate about U.S. generosity. Top U.S. officials and President Bush asserted that the U.S. is the most generous country on earth. In assessing these claims, many reporters turned to the CGD Commitment to Development Index published annually in Foreign Policy magazine.
To shed light on this issue, CGD and the Hudson Institute organized a debate between Carol Adelman, Senior Fellow and Director of The Center for Science in Public Policy at The Hudson Institute; and Steve Radelet, Senior Fellow at CGD. Moderated by Sebastian Mallaby of the Washington Post, the debate covered such issues as U.S. private giving, and whether remittances and the State Department budget should be counted as foreign aid.