Publication of preliminary figures on 2017 Official Development Assistance

What do the figures show?

Preliminary OECD figures show that Official Development Assistance (ODA) provided by the European Union and its Member States has reached €75.7 billion in 2017. With this, the European Union and its Member States continue to be the world’s leading donor of development assistance. This amount constitutes a 2.4% decrease compared to 2016 levels. In 2017, EU collective ODA represented 0.50% of EU Gross National Income (GNI), having decreased from 0.53% in 2016, when it reached its highest level ever. This is significantly above the 0.21% average of non-EU countries that are members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). The EU is collectively committed to provide 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) as ODA within the timeframe of the 2030 Agenda.

Why did EU collective ODA decrease in 2017 compared to 2016?

The figures show a 2.4% decrease of aid compared to the previous year corresponding to €1.9 billion. The ODA/GNI ratio as a result declined from 0.53% in 2016 to 0.50% in 2017. This decrease is explained by a reduction in the amounts ofdebt relief operations, which were reduced by 80% compared to the previous year and by a decline of 8% in in-donor refugee costs, which fell from €11.2 billion in 2016 to €10.3 billion in 2017.

The decrease was also linked to the reflows of European Investment Bank’s (EIB) loans, which reduced the ODA reported by the EIB by 28%. As the EIB’s portfolio starts maturing, reflows increase and are subtracted from ODA.

What is the EU performance regarding ODA to LDCs target?

Data for ODA to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) for 2017 will only be available in December 2018. In 2016, EU collective ODA to LDCs reached €16 billion equivalent to 0.11% of GNI. Six EU Member States exceeded the 0.15% threshold of ODA to LDCs/GNI: Luxembourg (0.42%), Sweden (0.27%), United Kingdom (0.22%), Denmark (0.21%), Belgium (0.15%), and Netherlands (0.15%). The EU is committed to meet collectively the target of providing 0.15 – 0.20% GNI as ODA to LDCs in the short term and to reach 0.20% of GNI as ODA to LDCs within the timeframe of the 2030 Agenda.

How are the numbers compiled? Who are they compiled by?

The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) is the ultimate authority that decides if expenditure reported to it (by member states or other donors) qualifies as Official Development Assistance (ODA).

The DAC is currently composed of 30 members: Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, USA, 20 EU Member States and the EU. Two EU Member States (i.e. Estonia and Latvia) are non-DAC OECD members, while another six (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Malta and Romania) are neither OECD nor DAC members.

The Commission presents individual data on all EU Member States, including on those that are not members of the DAC. Otherwise the data published by the OECD and by the Commission are identical. The EU uses the same current price figures as presented by DAC in the publication of preliminary figures for 2017, reconverted from USD to EUR using the DAC exchange rate.

There are two differences in analysing the changes in ODA volumes:

The Commission presents and analyses data in Euro values, while the DAC uses US Dollars. This exchange rate difference in evaluation applies for both global figures and individual Member States.

The Commission uses values in nominal terms (current prices) for presenting changes. The DAC presents data both in constant prices and nominal terms, but calculates changes only in constant prices and exchange rates. Note that ODA to GNI ratios are not affected by the above differences.

In addition to the EU28 ODA presented by the DAC, the Commission also presents the EU collective ODA, which is a sum of the ODA reported by the EU Member States and the additional ODA provided by the EU institutions. Most of the EU institutions’ ODA spending is, for the purposes of ODA/GNI reporting, imputed to EU Member States, i.e. Member States data include part of the institutions’ spending. The ODA provided through European Investment Bank (EIB) own resources is not imputed to Member States and is additional to the Member States’ ODA.

Why is the data preliminary?

The data presented is based on information that OECD and Commission have received from Member States in recent weeks. Additional information on the details of funds and programmes for 2017 will be reported to and checked by the DAC over the course of 2018. Final 2017 ODA figures with a detailed breakdown should be published by OECD DAC in December 2018.

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