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Signs of hope in new aid figures

PARIS, 13 APRIL 2016. Today, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD DAC) released the preliminary Official Development Assistance (ODA) figures for 2015, showing how much aid donor countries contributed in total last year.

After several years of decline, bilateral aid to the least developed countries finally increased. However, the new data also show a huge increase in aid being spent in donor countries, which could squeeze aid to Africa in future years.

While aid in total increased by some 6.9% in real terms from 2014 to 2015, aid spent within donor countries on refugees almost doubled, representing 9% ($12 billion) of the total. Many countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, are now officially the single biggest recipients of their own aid and five countries spend more than 20% of their aid budgets at home.

Adrian Lovett, interim Deputy CEO of the ONE Campaign, said:

“This is a boost for campaigners who have been insisting that the costs of the refugee crisis should not be met at the expense of the world’s poorest countries.  It’s promising to see aid to the poorest finally starting to increase.   But extreme poverty must be tackled with the same sense of urgency that Europeans have shown in supporting refugees. In one year, governments doubled their spending on refugee costs in their own countries, yet bilateral increased aid to least developed countries rose by only 4%. It would be short-sighted for governments to neglect funding for long-term development needs for some of the most vulnerable people in the world in order to fund costs at home. We can and must do both.”

“Less than a year ago the world agreed new global goals to end poverty, and now is the time to put those plans into action. Marginal aid increases that are barely keeping up with economic growth are not going to bring an end to poverty and instability in our lifetimes. World leaders must commit to prioritise the poorest, particularly girls and women who are hit the hardest by extreme poverty. All donor countries should invest at least 50% of their aid in the least developed countries to help them meet basic needs such as health and education and to help them lift themselves out of poverty.”




Notes to editors:

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

 The official OECD figures can be downloaded from here.

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.

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: ONE, Oxfam, 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 more than 115,000 people have signed the petition.