During the past twenty years, one of the clearest trends in development assistance has been the increasing number of major donor nations (Table 1.1). The once predominant role of the United States, which in the early 1960s accounted for as much as 60 percent of all development assistance, has steadily eroded. Although the u.s. remains the largest single donor, accounting for over 7.1 billion dollars in net disbursements in 1980, its share of the total has dropped to about 20 percent (Table 1.2). This decline in u.s. importance can largely be explained by its reduced commitment to development assistance. Net U.S. disbursements have declined from a high of .59 percent of GNP in 1963 to a current .27 percent in 1980, ranking among the lowest of all assistance donors (Table 1.3). At the same time, many other donors have either maintained or significantly expanded their programs.