EU World’s Leading Aid Donor

New figures confirm that the European Union and its Member States have consolidated their place as the world’s leading aid donor in 2016.

Preliminary OECD figures show that Official Development Assistance (ODA) provided by the EU and its Member States has reached €75.5 billion in 2016. This constitutes an 11% increase compared to 2015 levels. The EU’s assistance has increased for the fourth year in a row and reached its highest level to date. In 2016, EU collective ODA represented 0.51% of EU Gross National Income (GNI), having increased from 0.47% in 2015. This is significantly above the 0.21% average of countries that are not members of the EU’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: “I am proud that the EU remains the world’s leading provider of Official Development Assistance – a clear proof of our commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We call on all development actors to re-double their efforts to do likewise. And we do not stop there. Leveraging private sector investments, helping mobilise domestic resources and intensifying joint efforts with EU Member States, we seek to make the most of all financing sources for development.”

In 2016, five EU Member States provided 0.7% or more of their Gross National Income (GNI) in Official Development Assistance: Luxembourg (1.00%), Sweden (0.94%), Denmark (0.75%), Germany (0.70%), who has reached the target for the first time, and the United Kingdom (0.70%). Sixteen EU Member States increased their ODA compared to their GNI, while 5 Member States reduced their ODA and 7 remained at the same level as last year. In total, 20 Member States increased their ODA nominally by €10.9 billion, while the decreases in 6 others amounted to €3.4 billion.

In 2016, faced with an unprecedented migration crisis, the EU and its Member States were able to increase both their support to refugees as well as their ‘development aid’ to developing countries. The overall increase in European Union Official Development Assistance, with €7.6 billion, was greater than the surge in in-donor refugee costs €1.9 billion. Only 25% of the growth of EU Collective ODA between 2015 and 2016 was due to in-country refugee costs, hence, there was growth in ODA, even if these costs are excluded. EU collective ODA excluding in-country refugee costs grew from €59.1 billion in 2015 to €64.8 billion in 2016, constituting a 10% increase.


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