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Increase of Official Development Assistance in 2021

Published 12 April 2022 in Facts and figures, News

On April 12th 2022, the OECD published its preliminary data on Official Development Assistance (ODA) allocated by donor countries in 2021.

ODA issued by members of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) reached a historical level of USD 178.9 billion in 2021, up 4.4% from 2020.

This amount represents 0.33% of the combined gross national income of DAC countries in 2021, remaining far below the 0.7% GNI/ODA target, which was adopted back in 1970 by the United Nations.

Net total ODA rose by 4.4% in real terms between 2020 and 2021. 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 and 2021, ODA reached its highest levels 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.
Since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, net ODA has increased by 20%. ODA budgets increased steadily between 2013 and 2016, when it first peaked, driven in particular by the influx of refugees into Europe, and the associated in-country refugee costs. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, it decreased due to the decline in refugee-related expenditures. In 2020 and again in 2021, ODA reached its highest level on record, driven in part by support in the context of the Covid-19 crisis.

France’s aid increased by 4.6% in 2021 compared to 2021, totalizing USD 15.5 billion (approximately EUR 13 billion), or 0.52% 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).

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

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

Documents to download

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

Further reading