Relationships with other countries are something that every country on this planet has to deal with at one time or another. It is important that countries get along because if something were to happen, who else can you rely on than your neighboring countries? When something really serious happens to a country overseas, it is not uncommon for countries all over the world to rush to the aid of this country. Many people think that the country in trouble just gets a huge check, but there is a lot more to it than that. Did you know that Overseas Aid can come in many forms? Here is some information on the different types of overseas aid. Bilateral aid: This is the most common form of overseas aid, and it basically means that one country is loaning another country a large sum of money. Multilateral aid: Different from a bilateral aid that involves a country, multilateral aid involves an agency like a bank that has ties to several countries; the bank is making a loan to a country. Tied aid: The money given to the country in need is given for a specific purpose like its being used to buy machinery or other resources. United aid: Unlike the tied aid, a united aid loan can be used in any way and at the discretion of the country its being given to. Food aid: This is when huge quantities of food is sent over to the country that is having a food shortage. The food is usually staple foods like wheat, flour, or rice. Grants: This is free money given to a country that has had some sort of situation happen like a flood, an earthquake, or other natural disaster. With a grant, the money can be used in any way the country needs it, and it is not expected to be paid back. Soft loan: With this kind of loan, a country has twenty five years to pay it back, and the interest rate is low, usually its between one and three percent. Hard loan: A country has twenty five years to repay this loan, however the interest rate is three percent. Project Assistance loan: When a country asks for money for something special, this is what a project assistance loan is for. Direct foreign investment loan: What this means is that different countries invest their money in a particular industry from another country and can make money off of that investment. An example of this would be Pakistan; some countries invested in their industrial project and earned profit from its development. Any diplomat or politician will tell you that it is highly important to be cordial and to have a good relationship with countries all around the world. In a time of crisis or political disarray, it is the allies that you make that are going to help you get out of whatever is going on. When a country needs a helping hand, overseas aid can be the difference in an ally or an enemy.