Development finance statistics

50 years of official development assistance


From 1960 to 1990, official development assistance (ODA) flows from DAC countries to developing countries rose steadily. By contrast, total ODA as a percentage of DAC countries' combined gross national income (GNI) – long-standing donor commitment – fell between 1960 and 1970, and then oscillated between 0.27% and 0.36% for a little over twenty years. 

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Between 1993 and 1997, ODA flows fell by 16% in real terms due to fiscal consolidation in donor countries after the recession of the early 1990s. 


Aid then started to rise in real terms in 1998, but was still at its historic low as a share of GNI (0.22%) in 2001. 

Since then, a series of high-profile international conferences have boosted ODA flows. In 2002, the International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Monterrey, Mexico, set firm targets for each donor and marked the upturn of ODA after a decade of decline. In 2005, donors made further commitments to increase their aid at the Gleneagles G8 and UN Millenium + 5 summits. 

In 2005 and 2006, aid peaked due to exceptional debt relief operations for Iraq and Nigeria. 


Despite the recent financial crisis, ODA flows have continued to rise and in 2010 reached their highest real level ever at USD 129 billion.  This demonstrates how effective aid pledges can be when they are made on the basis of adequate resources and backed by strong political will.