Adrian Lovett, Europe Executive Director for The ONE Campaign, said:
What a depressing start to the new year. These figures show that while overall aid levels reached their highest yet in 2014, the least developed countries got a smaller share than at any time in the last decade. Aid to those countries fell to less than 30% for the first time since 2005 – a cut of almost $2 billion.Meanwhile, donor countries increased the amount they spent at home to cover refugee costs by almost the same amount. As more aid is diverted to offer vital help to the increasing numbers of refugees arriving in richer countries, people in desperately poor nations are paying the price.
Last year, world leaders promised to reverse the decline in aid to the least developed countries. Instead, it has got worse – and increasing numbers of refugees in 2015 means the problem has almost certainly got even more serious.
Desperately poor countries require the most assistance to help fight extreme poverty, as they often lack the means to do so without external support. This news must act as a wake-up call to world leaders who should urgently commit 50% of their aid to the world’s least developed countries. 2015 offered hope that the end of extreme poverty could be in sight. Right now it is slipping from view. Millions of ONE campaigners around the world are determined not to let that happen.
Notes to Editors (all figures calculated by ONE in 2014 constant prices, excluding debt relief):
- Donors increased their aid (excluding debt relief) by $4.6bn in 2014, a 3.5% increase on the previous year (from $131.9bn to $136.5bn).
- Aid to the least developed countries fell by $1.9bn in 2014, a 4.6% fall (from $42.3bn to $40.4bn). This is $1.2bn worse than preliminary figures released April 2015 suggested.
- Donors spent $1.8bn more on refugee costs within their own countries in 2014 than in 2013, up from $4.8bn to $6.6bn. This now represents 7.1% of all bilateral aid (9.7% for EU donor countries).
- In 2014, nine countries spent more than 10% of their bilateral aid on refugee costs in their own countries. These are Italy (61%), Greece (46%), Sweden (25%), Netherlands (24%), Austria (21%), Czech Republic (18%), Switzerland (17%), Belgium (14%) and Denmark (12%).
- 16 donors have cut their aid to LDCs. The biggest cuts have come from Japan (21.9%), Canada (20.3%), Netherlands (19.2%), Portugal (17.4%) and Austria (16.1%). Among the G7, only two countries have marginally increased their aid to LDCs – Italy by 0.2% and the UK by 0.3%.
- Among the least-developed countries seeing the biggest cuts in aid in 2014 are Myanmar ($887 million), Sudan ($585 million), Tanzania ($527 million), Afghanistan ($466 million), Ethiopia ($250m), and Lesotho ($198m). Mozambique, Malawi and Bangladesh also suffered cuts.
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