Comparing 2018 with 2017, bilateral ODA to Africa fell by four per cent in real terms.
Photo: S. Richter
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Foreign aid from official donors in 2018 fell 2.7 per cent from 2017, with a declining share going to the neediest countries. The figure is equivalent to 0.31 per cent of the DAC donors’ combined gross national income, and thus well below the target ratio of 0.7 per cent ODA, says the OECD.

Foreign aid from official donors in 2018 fell 2.7 per cent from 2017. The decline was particularly strong for the neediest countries, according to preliminary data collected by the OECD. The drop was largely due to less aid being spent on hosting refugees as arrivals slowed and rules were tightened on which refugee costs can come out of official aid budgets.


Official development assistance (ODA) from the 30 members of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) totalled 153.0 billion US dollars (USD) in 2018. In calculating, a new “grant-equivalent” methodology was used that takes loans into account. Under the “cash-flow basis” methodology used in the past, 2018 ODA was USD 149.3 billion, down 2.7 per cent in real terms from 2017. Excluding aid spent on processing and hosting refugees, ODA was stable from 2017 to 2018.

Least developed countries and Africa especially hard hit

Using the cash-flow basis ODA figure to compare 2018 with 2017 shows that bilateral ODA to the least-developed countries fell by three per cent in real terms from 2017, aid to Africa fell by four per cent, and humanitarian aid fell by eight per cent.

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