The current state of aid: 6 things you need to know

The current state of aid: 6 things you need to know

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In the age of smart phone watches, GPS and self-driving cars (well, almost), more than 1 billion people on the planet still live under $1.25 a day.

The world is meeting next year to agree on goals to bring this number down to zero by 2030. But we won’t be able to reach those goals without an equally ambitious plan to finance them.

Aid – the money that rich countries give to poor countries to help combat hunger, disease and poverty – will be crucial in that fight. But what is the current state of aid today? What is aid made up of? Where is it going? ONE just published a report this week on this very topic, but here’s 6 things that explain where we are right now:

1. Global aid rebounded in 2013

After two years of decline, aid rebounded in 2013. Governments need to make sure to target that aid to the countries that need it the most. Half should go to the poorest and most vulnerable countries.

Nice bump in 2013!

Nice bump in 2013!

2. Ireland is totally rocking it

And it’s not just because of that rockstar. In 2012, Ireland provided more than half of its aid to the poorest and most vulnerable countries. Look where they are in this chart:

DATA-REPORT-SHARE-GRAPHIC-2

Ireland – above and ahead of the pack.

3. UK, Japan, Germany and Norway deserve applause, too

They all boosted their aid in 2013. The UK also joined the small group of donor countries (Sweden, Luxembourg, Denmark and Norway) meeting the international target of spending 0.7% of national income on aid.

4. Countries are keeping their promises

Some African countries, such as Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Republic of Congo, Swaziland, and Zambia, have kept their promise to put their own government budgets towards sectors that have proven impacts on poverty, such as health, agriculture and education.

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 1.21.09 PM

Aid is helping Ethiopia meet its education targets, putting children like these in school.

5. It’s really helping people

Aid from donors is making a real impact on the world’s poorest people, in the form of resources like vaccines, AIDS treatment, schools and clean water wells. If you really want to be wowed, turn to page 88 in our report to see a country-by-country breakdown.

Children in Garowe, the capital of Puntland, Somalia – home to thousands of families displaced by conflict – access clean water using a pump funded by EU aid. Photo: Malini Morzaria / EU / ECHO

Children in Garowe, the capital of Puntland, Somalia – home to thousands of families displaced by conflict – access clean water using a pump funded by EU aid. Photo: Malini Morzaria / EU / ECHO

6. It supports public service funding

Many African countries still rely on aid to support their own spending on public services. Aid is the only external flow targeted explicitly to support economic development and improve welfare, and, in many of the world’s poorest countries, it supports the provision of vital public services. As the chart below shows, government spending per person in most African countries is still very low.

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 12.13.09 PM

Compare this with average spending by OECD countries of more than $15,000 per capita!

Are you a data junkie? Get the full details on development spending. Read ONE’s Data Report. 

Click here to download the report now. 

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