1. Home
  2. Media centre
  3. OECD members agree to broaden overseas aid definition

OECD members agree to broaden overseas aid definition

BRUSSELS, 19 FEBRUARY 2016.  OECD development ministers gathered this week at a meeting of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in Paris. OECD members agreed to broaden existing reporting rules so that overseas aid can be used to cover more peace and security costs. Leaders also discussed the current rules allowing them to use development aid to fund the costs of the refugee crisis at home. Donors fell short of agreeing to exclude such costs from their aid reporting and have instead tasked the OECD secretariat to clarify the current rules governing the reporting of in-donor refugee costs as ODA.

 Tamira Gunzburg, Brussels Director of ONE said:

“Today, the OECD decided to broaden the rules governing what counts as overseas aid from poverty eradication to include more peace and security costs. They failed to agree not to use aid to cover the costs of hosting refugees arriving in their countries and this issue remains unresolved.

These developments risk leading to an erosion of already limited overseas aid funds. Aid should be focused on tackling poverty in the poorest countries. Recent OECD data shows that while global aid flows are increasing, support to the poorest countries is falling perilously. We cannot allow this to continue unchecked.

We urge leaders to find vital resources for refugees arriving in Europe without pitting the world’s most vulnerable against each other.“


Notes to editors:

Contact, information & interviews – Andrea Ghianda // [email protected] // +32 (0)2 300 89 42 // +32 (0)471 89 64 22

 ABOUT ONE: ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organisation of over 7 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Not politically partisan, we raise public awareness and press political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programmes. Read more at www.one.org.

Changes to the DAC rules decided today: The rules defining what can be included within the Official Development Assistance (ODA) definition have been broadened in the field of peace and security. ODA now includes measures such as preventing violent extremism, and engagement with the police beyond training in routine civil policing functions.

Communique from the February 2016 DAC High Level Meeting available here.

The OECD and Official Development Assistance: The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) defines development aid and monitors its flows to developing countries. The committee has measured resource aid flows since 1961.

Special attention has been given to the official and concessional part of these flows, defined as “official development assistance” (ODA). The DAC first defined ODA in 1969, and tightened the definition in 1972. ODA is the key measure used in practically all aid targets and assessments of aid performance. The definition is of great importance for the global goal that donor countries commit 0.7% of their GNI to development assistance.

Petition: ONEOxfam, Global Citizen, and others have launched a joint petition to ask European leaders to meet the needs of refugees arriving at our borders without doing so at the expense of the world’s poorest. The organizations are calling on governments to make sure aid is focused on fighting extreme poverty and prioritizes the countries and people that have the least. So far 80,000+ people have signed the petition.