A beneficiary of a development project taking care of her goats on a farm near Malindi, Kilifi County, Kenya, 29 May 2019. 
Photo: ©FAO/Luis Tato
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There is a lack of understanding about what aid actually entails, researchers criticise after analysing development aid given by OECD donors. They found that a quarter of the aid money never leaves donor countries; in-donor refugee costs stand out in particular.

More than a quarter of the aid money given by members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is not transferred to developing countries, according to a study by researchers from the Migration Policy Centre of the European University Institute and the Institute for the World Economy (IWF Kiel) published in August 2019.

Moreover, the increase of development aid in recent years is mostly attributable to higher spending on refugees within donor countries, the study shows. These findings are at odds with policy makers’ intentions of increasing development aid as a means to curb irregular migration, the authors say.'

Their study illustrates that a substantial share of development aid is spent within the donor countries’ own borders. This so-called non-transferred aid accounted for more than 25 per cent of overall aid given in 2016 - the last year for which data from the 29 donor countries and 125 recipient countries included were available.

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