Financing for sustainable development

In-donor refugee costs in ODA


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In 2017, the DAC agreed to clarify the reporting directives for assessing what may be included or not in ODA – and provide its members with a blueprint to use when accounting for the costs of assisting refugees in donor countries.

There are five clarifications, with supporting explanatory notes:

Rationale for counting in-donor costs as ODA 
Underlines that refugee protection is a legal obligation and that providing assistance to refugees may be considered a form of humanitarian assistance.
Eligible categories of refugees
States that categories must be based on international legal definitions. Asylum seekers and recognised refugees are covered.
The “12-month rule”
Reaffirms that beyond 12 months, expenditures are outside the scope of statistics on international flows. 
Eligibility of specific cost items
Explains what cost items may or not be included in reporting, e.g. temporary sustenance (food, shelter, training) is eligible but not costs for integrating refugees into the economy of the donor country.
Methodology for assessing costs 
Emphasises the need for a conservative approach.

The changes are aimed to improve the consistency, comparability, and transparency of DAC members reporting of ODA-eligible in-donor refugee costs.

DAC member profiles on ODA in-donor refugee costs


DAC members adjusted their methodologies for calculating in-donor refugee costs in ODA to be in line with the five Clarifications that were agreed in 2017.