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Development aid rises, but not for sub-Saharan Africa


Development aid rose by 6.1% in real terms in 2013 to reach the highest level ever recorded, despite continued pressure on budgets in OECD countries since the global economic crisis. Donors provided a total of US$134.8 billion in net official development assistance (ODA), marking a rebound after two years of falling volumes. Aid to developing countries had grown steadily in the decade to 2010, but fell in 2011-12 as austerity hit several government aid budgets.

Net ODA from OECD DAC countries stood at 0.3% of gross national income (GNI). Five countries met a longstanding UN recommendation for an ODA/GNI ratio
of 0.7%, with the UK in particular reaching that target for the first time after an increase of ODA by 27.8%.

Within bilateral net ODA, total grants rose 7.7% in real terms, though by 3.5% if excluding debt forgiveness grants. Non-grant aid (including equity acquisitions) rose by about 33% in real terms from 2012. Bilateral net ODA to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) rose by 12.3% in real terms to about $30 billion. However, bilateral aid to sub-Saharan Africa was $26.2 billion, a decrease of 4% in real terms from 2012. While global aid levels could increase again in 2014, a trend of a falling share of aid going to the neediest sub-Saharan African countries looks likely to continue.

For more detail, see www.oecd.org/development

©OECD Observer No 298, Q1 2014