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Aid at highest levels but not enough goes to the poorest countries says ONE Campaign

The ONE Campaign responds to OECD Development Assistance Committee confirmed aid levels for 2015

The ONE Campaign welcomes new statistics that confirm aid has reached record levels in 2015, but criticises the declining proportion of aid received by the world’s poorest countries, with increasing amounts never leaving donor countries.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD DAC) this week published final figures on the amount of aid given by donor countries in 2015.

Overall aid levels rose by 6.8% from 2014, but alarmingly, $12.1 billion in aid never left donor countries. Excluding ‘in-donor refugee costs’, aid only increased by 1.4% in real terms between 2014 and 2015.

Anti-poverty group, ONE, is disappointed at the less than expected increase in aid to least developed countries (LDCs), and a drop in aid to Africa. ONE is concerned by the growing amount of aid being diverted away from its poverty fighting purpose to cover refugee costs.

Sara Harcourt, Policy Director of Development Finance at ONE, said: “Like so much in 2016, we end the year with a ‘mixed-bag’ of news.  Aid has increased to its highest level, but we are not seeing a proportionate increase in aid to the least developed countries. Many countries are redirecting their aid – which is meant to fight poverty – towards covering the costs of refugees they are hosting. It’s absolutely right that we protect people fleeing war and insecurity, but we also must support the world’s poorest people.”

Aid to LDCs increased by only 0.8% in 2015, despite these countries having the least ability to lift themselves from poverty without external support. By not keeping up with total aid increases, aid to LDCs as a proportion of total ODA has declined to only 28% from 29.6% in 2014. Also, overall aid levels to Africa fell by 2%.

While bilateral aid to the least developed countries increased by almost 5% in real terms since 2014, multilateral aid decreased to the world’s poorest countries by about the same amount.

 “Global health, security and prosperity are increasingly connected. But instead of facing these challenges together, we are shying away from the task in hand. Donor countries must prioritise efforts to tackle extreme poverty and preventable disease, ensuring their focus is squarely on those with the least ability to lift themselves out of poverty. Doing so will bolster the fight against extreme poverty and efforts to overcome the challenges we’re faced with in today’s world.” said Harcourt.


For media queries please contact Chris Mitchell via [email protected] or 07901006799.

Notes to Editors

UPDATE: Please note that ONE’s methodology analysis aid flows from OECD DAC donors, not all donors as measured by DAC. Aid from OECD DAC donors to LDCs increased by only 0.8%, however aid to LDCs from all donors measured by the DAC increased by 5.4%. For further clarification, please contact Chris Mitchell – details below

The DAC will release its data note on the final figures in January. ONE may issue an update to this statement in response to this data note.

ONE excludes debt relief in all of its ODA calculations, and is analysing figures for ‘All DAC Donors’ rather than ‘All donors’ – which include countries that are not members of the Development Assistance Committee and some additional multilateral aid.