Some donors are not keeping their aid promises, says OECD


21/01/2010 - From the Monterrey Financing for Development Conference in 2002, to the Gleneagles G8 Summit and the UN Millennium +5 Summit in 2005, donors committed to increase their aid to developing countries, and to Africa in particular. These pledges would have increased aid by USD 50 billion - from USD 80 billion in 2004 to USD 130 billion (in 2004 dollars), or 0.36% of estimated GNI in 2010.

According to the OECD Development Co-operation report 2010, analysis shows that lower GNI caused by the economic crisis has reduced the dollar value of these commitments to USD 124 billion (in 2004 dollars), an increase of USD 44 billion over 2004 compared with the original estimate of USD 50 billion. 

The overall expected ODA level for 2010 is estimated at USD 107 billion (in 2004 dollars), an increase of USD 27 billion – or 35% in real terms - over 2004, with the ODA/GNI ratio rising from 0.26% in 2004 to an estimated 0.34% in 2010. (See Figure 3).

Though most donors will meet their aid pledges, some countries – including several large donors - are unlikely to meet their commitments. This results in a shortfall of USD 17 billion (in 2004 dollars) when adjusted for the lower GNI. ODA to Africa, which G8 leaders pledged to increase by USD 25 billion by 2010, is estimated to increase by only USD 12 billion (in 2004 prices) between 2004 and 2010.


This first estimate of the 2010 outcome of commitments made by donors at Gleneagles may change slightly when the OECD releases 2009 ODA figures in April.

Overall, ODA increased in 2008 to its highest level: USD 121.5 billion, representing 0.31% of DAC members combined GNI.  It is expected to rise again in 2009 and 2010.  Finland, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States are meeting their aid commitments. Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden continue to allocate at least 0.7% of their gross national income to ODA, in line with the long-standing UN target. Australia, Canada and New Zealand appear on track to double their aid by 2010. Switzerland plans to give 0.46% of its GNI as ODA in 2009, exceeding its previous commitment of 0.4%. Ireland has cut its forward ODA estimate, but still expects to meet the European Union ODA/GNI target of 0.51%. And Belgium indicates that it will reach the 0.7% target by 2010.

Other countries, however, are not on track to meet their commitments and, on the basis of their 2010 ODA budget plans, will fall further behind. Despite EU countries’ commitment to a minimum ODA/GNI ratio of 0.51% in 2010, Austria’s development policy estimates an ODA/GNI ratio of 0.37% in 2010. France’s draft finance bill for 2010 estimates an ODA/GNI ratio of between 0.44% and 0.48% for 2010. OECD estimates that Greece’s ODA/GNI ratio will be 0.21% in 2010. Italy’s draft budget plans projects an ODA level of EUR 2.79 billion in 2010, representing an ODA/GNI ratio of 0.19%. Portugal’s 2009 official budget report indicates an estimated ODA/GNI ratio of 0.34% in 2010.


The outlook looks challenging for Germany, where ODA in 2008 was USD 13.98 billion, or 0.38% of GNI. The new German budget, expected soon, should give a clear indication of whether and how the government will increase its ODA to meet the targets for 2010 and beyond. Of the other major donors, in 2008 Japan was USD 4 billion short of its Gleneagles pledge to raise ODA by a total of USD 10 billion between 2005 and 2009.


  • For further information, journalists are invited to contact or telephone +33 1 45 24 80 97. 
  • Download the OECD Development Co-operation report 2010

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Figure 2. DAC Members' Total Net ODA in 2008

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