International Partnerships

The European Union remains world’s leading donor of Official Development Assistance with €75.2 billion in 2019

News 16 April 2020 Brussels

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The collective Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the European Union and its Member States amounted to €75.2 billion in 2019, representing 55.2% of global assistance, according to preliminary figures released today by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC).

The EU’s and its Member States collective assistance represented 0.46% of EU Gross National Income (GNI), slightly lower than the 0.47% in 2018, but remains significantly above the 0.21% average of the non-EU members of the DAC .

Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: "As the world’s leading donor of Official Development Assistance, the EU is saving lives, building stronger economies and protecting the planet for the benefit of millions throughout the world. However, I am concerned that our collective effort in on GNI is at its lowest since 2016. I call on all Member States and all development actors to re-double their efforts. The current coronavirus crisis shows how interdependent we all are and how important it is to step up support to our partner countries as Team Europe.

In 2019, three EU Member States met their ODA commitments of providing 0.7% or more of their GNI in ODA: Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark as well as the United Kingdom.

All in all, 17 Member States have increased their ODA in nominal terms compared to 2018: Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Romania, Slovenia, Spain as well as the UK. The following Member States increased their ODA/GNI ratio by at least 0.01 percentage points: Austria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Luxembourg and Malta. However, the ODA to GNI ratio decreased in 8 Member States by at least 0.01: Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Sweden.

The EU’s ODA to Least Developed Countries increased for the second consecutive year in 2018, to €19.8 billion, i.e. 0.125% of GNI in 2018. Figures for 2019 will only be known in December. In 2018, EU28 ODA to Africa increased by 4.3% and reached EUR 25 billion.

Beyond ODA, the EU is helping partner countries to make the most of the diverse financing sources available to support implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The EU has been instrumental in bringing together aid, investment, trade, domestic resource mobilisation and policies designed to unlock the full potential of all financial flows. The EU has played a key role in the Integrated National Financing Frameworks, to design financing strategies for sustainable development from all sources of finance. Through the European External Investment Plan, the EU is on track to leverage over €47 billion in investment for Africa and our neighbourhood. The European Fund for Sustainable Development guarantee in particular plays a key role in unlocking additional finance for partner countries. The EU also supports partner countries to improve tax collection and public spending.

Official Development Assistance: the EU is world's biggest donor

Background information

The data published today is based on preliminary information reported by the EU Member States to the OECD pending detailed final data to be published by OECD in December 2020. EU collective ODA consists of the total ODA spending of EU Member States and the ODA of EU institutions not attributed to individual Member States (notably own resources of the European Investment Bank). The EU aggregate includes the United Kingdom because the reference period ends before the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union taking effect on 1 February 2020.

The international community spelt out in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda how development financing should evolve to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Official Development Assistance is one of the sources of financing to deliver on the international community’s commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but it is clear that resources for sustainable development have to come from all possible sources (public, private, international and domestic) and efforts to mobilise financial resources have to go much further. As a step in that direction, data on Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD) will be collected for the first time in 2020, providing an overview of all officially-supported resources for the SDGs, beyond the flows captured in ODA.

In May 2015, the European Council reaffirmed its commitment to increase collective ODA to 0.7% of EU GNI before 2030. Since 2015, on a flow basis, ODA by the EU and its then 28 Member States has grown by 10% € 7 billion) in nominal terms but the ODA/GNI ratio has declined by 0.01 percentage points. Decrease has been constant since the 2016 climax when ODA reached 0.52% of EU GNI. In-donor refugee spending has decreased by EUR 4.4 billion since 2016. In 2019, the decrease is mostly due to a decline in EIB loans to the private sector.

The EU is also committed to collectively giving between 0.15% and 0.20% of the EU GNI in the short term to Least Developed Countries and 0.20% by 2030. Since 2015, on a flow basis, ODA by the EU and its 28 Member States to Least Developed countries has grown by 25% (€4.0 billion) in nominal terms, and the ODA/GNI ratio has increased by 0.02 percentage points.

For More Information

Memo Q&A on preliminary figures on 2019 Official Development Assistance for the EU and its Member States

Annex Preliminary Figures on 2019 Official Development Assistance, Tables and Graphs for the EU and its Member States

OECD press release