The OECD has just released key data on official development assistance (ODA) in 2007. According to these figures, the 22 member countries of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC)–the world’s major donors–provided USD 103.7 billion in aid last year. This represents a decrease of 8.4% in real terms over the previous year. The fall was expected: ODA had been exceptionally high in 2005 (USD 107.1 billion) and 2006 (USD 104.4 billion) because of debt relief in Iraq and Nigeria.
How does this bode for donors keeping their promises with relation to key development goals? Overall, donors are not on track to meet their aid volume commitments, which the Gleneagles G8 summit in 2005 estimated would raise ODA from USD 80 billion in 2004 to USD 130 billion in 2010. On average, donors need to more than double the present rate of increase in their aid over the next three years to reach this target.
While there was an encouraging upsurge in bilateral aid to sub-Saharan Africa (an increase of 10% in 2007, excluding debt relief), donors still face a real challenge in doubling total aid to Africa by 2010, as foreseen at Gleneagles.
The first comprehensive survey of donors’ future spending plans to 2010 has been completed by the OECD and the results will be published early in May.
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