23/04/2001 - Official Development Assistance by Member countries of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) (1) fell slightly in 2000 - by 1.6 per cent in real terms.
In current prices and exchange rates total net ODA flows declined from $56.4 billion in 1999 to $53.1 billion in 2000 (see Table 1 and Chart 1) -- a fall of 6.0 per cent. But most of this drop was due to lower exchange rates for most currencies against the United States dollar. At constant prices and exchange rates, the fall was 1.6 per cent. With the strong overall OECD growth last year, aid as a proportion of DAC Member's combined GNP returned to the 1997 ratio of 0.22.
Two special factors explain this year's fall:
changes in the list of countries eligible to receive ODA (2). Adjusting for these changes, total ODA fell by just 0.2 per cent at constant prices and exchange rates.
Japan's aid was $2.3 billion lower than in 1999, when it included exceptional contributions to the Asian Development Bank in the wake of the Asian financial crisis.
Fifteen of the 22 DAC Member countries reported a rise in ODA in real terms in 2000. For twelve of these Members, the increase in ODA equalled or outpaced their economic growth.
Luxembourg reached for the first time, the UN 0.7 per cent target for ODA as a proportion of GNP, joining Denmark (which reached its highest ODA/GNP ratio ever recorded), the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden who continue to surpass this target. No other countries exceeded the average country effort of 0.39 per cent of GNP.
Aid from the United Kingdom rose by 35.6 per cent in real terms, more than compensating for the 10.6 per cent fall last year, with the rebound due to the timing of its multilateral contributions and its commitment to an increased budget for aid. Belgium (21.7 per cent), Greece (28.7 per cent), the Netherlands (10.0 per cent) and Sweden (22.3 per cent) also increased their aid substantially.
Aid disbursements by the European Commission rose in real terms by 12.6 per cent.
Total aid from the non-G7 DAC countries increased by 8.3 per cent in real terms and accounted for 26 per cent of DAC Members' ODA, compared with their 12 per cent share of DAC GNP.
Total aid from G7 countries fell by 4.8 per cent in real terms, because of the exceptional fall in Japan's aid, explained above, combined with a fall in aid from France due mainly to the fact that its aid to French Polynesia and New Caledonia is no longer counted as ODA (2) , and a fall in aid from Italy, due to the timing of its payments to multilateral agencies. Among the other G7 countries, Germany and the United States increased their aid, Canada's fell slightly.
For further information, please contact Helen Fisher (tel. 33 1 45 24 80 97) in the Media Relations Division.
(1) The Members of the Development Assistance Committee are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Commission.
(2) Aruba, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Korea, Libya, Macao, the Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Northern Marianas and the Virgin Islands transferred from Part I of the DAC List of Aid Recipients (ODA recipients) to Part II of the List (Official Aid recipients) on 1 January 2000 -- see Annex 1 for the complete List.