Global economy

ODA for the ocean takes a plunge


Oceans cover about 71% of the Earth’s surface but aid for their sustainable management represents only 0.77% of total ODA, down from 1.13% in 2018. Multilateral outflows for the sustainable ocean economy reached a historical high in 2018 as large projects in maritime transport and fisheries were undertaken. The drop in sustainable ocean economy ODA in 2019 could be only temporary, or it could be the start of a downward trend for years to come.

Total ODA for the ocean economy dropped slightly in 2019 as well, from USD 3.0 billion in 2018 to USD 2.9 billion. This slight fall comes after record spending in 2017 on large port investments in Southeast Asia that brought total ODA for the ocean economy to USA 5.4 billion, nearly twice the ODA in 2019.

Thirty-three per cent of sustainable ocean economy ODA went to economies in Africa in 2019, followed by 30% for Asian economies and 25% in Oceania. One fifth of this ODA targeted small island developing states (SIDS). The aid is mainly used to target three areas: marine protection, maritime transport and fishing. The share of aid targeting marine protection was the only one to rise between 2018 and 2019 while maritime transport and fishing both saw their levels of ODA drastically fall.

See also: Data Platform on Development Finance for the Sustainable Ocean Economy