Official Development Assistance (ODA)

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Official Development Assistance or “global aid” is a transfer of money and resources from predominantly richer countries to developing countries to help fight poverty and support economic development.

Explore this page to see how much countries give in global aid, where aid goes, and on what it is spent. The data is pulled from the official OECD-Development Assistance Committee (DAC) statistics on aid flows.

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Key Numbers

  • In 2021, aid totalled US$178.9 billion – a 4.2 % increase from the previous year.
  • DAC donors invested 0.33% of their Gross National Income (GNI) as aid. They were US$204 billion off their commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI.
  • Aid to African countries totalled US$55.7 billion in 2020, or 35.2% of aid.
  • In 2020, 21.6% of aid went to low-income countries, 29.8% to lower-middle income, 13.5% to upper middle income, and 0.1% to high-income countries.
  • Health sectors received 14.6% of aid, or US$25.3 billion. Humanitarian was 12.5% of aid, or US$21.5 billion in 2020.

How much do countries give in aid?

In the last sixty years, total aid has grown more than four-fold, from US$38 billion in 1960 to US$178.9 billion in 2021. But the financing needs to solve these global problems are much greater: to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in low-income and lower-middle income countries will likely cost between $1.4 trillion to $3 trillion per year.

Aid has increased significantly in recent years but is far from meeting needs

From 2020 to 2021, total aid increased by 4.2 % in real terms. Much of this increase was due to counting donated COVID-19 vaccines. Excluding that, aid increased by just 0.6%.

Over the last decade, aid as a share of national income (ODA/GNI) has barely risen, going from 0.31% in 2010 to 0.33% in 2021.

Use the drop down menu to select a specific country to see their aid levels over time.

Sources

Most donors are far from giving 0.7% of national income as aid

In 1970, most countries agreed on a United Nations target of giving 0.7% of national income in aid (ODA/GNI). As recently as 2005 and again in 2015, European Union countries recommitted to this target. However, very few countries have achieved 0.7% since that time, and even fewer have maintained it.

If all countries gave 0.7% ODA/GNI, there would be US$204 billion additional aid available.

Hover over each country bar to see more details. Press the play button at the top of the graph to see changes over the years.

Sources

Where does aid go?

Aid is given by rich countries directly to countries in need. Or it can be given to a multilateral institution – such as the World Bank or UN – which passes on aid to countries and projects. African countries receive the largest share of total aid (35.2%), though this is down from 38% about a decade ago.

Africa receives the largest share of global aid

This chart shows total aid to different regions. It includes bilateral as well as imputed multilateral aid.

Choose a donor country to view from the drop down box. Hover over the graph to see more details on percentages and total in USD.

Aid by country income groupings

This chart shows the destination of aid, based on the World Bank income classifications.

Aid not classified by income is aid that goes to projects or programs that may span across countries/regions, or that goes to core funding of international organisations.

Use the drop down box to choose different donor countries to view. Hover over the bars to get more details.

What is aid spent on?

Global aid supports a wide range of projects across sectors, from helping people living in poverty meet basic needs – such as humanitarian aid, health, and emergency food aid – to helping countries develop and grow their economies – such as aid to education, infrastructure, and energy.

Aid by sector

This chart shows the amount of aid going to individual sectors or sector groups. Totals for individual donors include bilateral aid plus imputed multilateral aid.

Use the drop down box to choose a country to view. Hover over the graph for amounts.

Other economic infrastructure includes transport, energy, banking, construction, et al. Other social infrastructure includes government and civil society, water and sanitation, peace and security, et al.

Share of aid to selected sectors

This chart shows the share of aid going to selected sectors, out of total gross aid disbursements. Shares for individual donors include bilateral aid plus imputed multilateral aid.

Use the drop down box to choose a country to view. Hover over the graph for more detail.

Click on sectors in the key at the top to remove them from view.