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Increase of Development Aid in 2020

Published 13 April 2021 in Facts and figures, News

On April 13th 2021, the OECD published its preliminary data on Official Development Assistance (ODA) allocated by donor countries in 2020.

ODA issued by members of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) reached a historical level of USD 161.2 billion in 2019, up 3.5% from 2019.

This amount represents 0.32% of the combined gross national income of DAC countries in 2020, remaining far below the 0.7% GNI/ODA target, which was adopted back in 1970 by the United Nations.

Net total ODA rose by 3.5% in real terms between 2019 and 2020. ODA budgets steadily increased between 2013 and 2016, when it reached a first peak due especially to the influx in Europe of refugees and associated in-donor refugee costs. It fell in 2017 and 2018 due to the tapering off of in-donor refugee costs and remained stable in 2019. In 2020, ODA reached its highest level ever due in part to support for the COVID-19 crisis. Indeed, for 2020, on an exceptional basis, all direct aid linked to COVID-19 allocated to eligible countries has been recorded as ODA. Initial estimates indicate this represents USD 12 billion.

France’s aid increased by 10.9% in 2020 compared to 2019, totalizing USD 14.3 billion (approximately EUR 12 billion), or 0.53% of France’s GNI, in line with the financial trajectory adopted by France in 2018 (aiming to progressively reach 0.55% GNI/ODA by 2022).

This trend mainly stems from an increase in its bilateral aid through loans, despite grants being the most relevant way to support low-income countries in achieving the SDGs.

Despite this increase, France still has a long way to go to reach the 0.7% target and join countries such as Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

France still ranks fifth among donor countries in volume spent on foreign aid, after the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan.

Documents to download

OECD-DAC: COVID-19 spending helped to lift foreign aid to an all-time high in 2020

Further reading