Following the first decline in official development assistance (ODA) for over 15 years, seen in 2011, our rapid survey of announced changes in commitments and aid budgets suggests that further cuts are on their way in 2012.
The Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre estimates that total ODA (excluding debt relief) in 2012 will amount to approximately US$114 billion, or 0.28% of total OECD gross domestic product (GDP) – its lowest level since 2008. Our survey of announcements includes:
Aid budgets for the world’s top 20 ODA donors in 2012
Announced or expected cuts in aid budgets:
- US: Expected to be down by US$3.5 billion from 2011
- Japan: Set to decrease by 2% to US$7.2 billion
- Netherlands: 2012 budget cut by 17.8%, or €958 million (US$1.3 billion), to €4.34 billion
- Canada: Announced 2012 budget is US$1 billion less than expected, heading for a fall in ODA from the projected 0.33% of GDP to 0.27% in 2015
- Italy: Predicted to be down from €3,050 million in 2011 (0.19% gross national income (GNI)) to €1,880 million (0.12% GNI) in 2012
- Spain: Expected to decline from €3,067 million (0.29% GNI) in 2011 to €1,740 million (0.16% GNI) in 2012.
Announced or expected increases in aid budgets:
- Germany: €6.4 billion; €164 million more than 2011
- UK: Up by UK£0.2 billion, but still UK£380 million less than originally intended and UK£1.2 billion less over next three years
- Sweden: SEK35.8 billion, up by 2% from 2011; humanitarian aid also up at SEK5 billion
- Australia: AU$5.1 billion, up from AU$4.8 billion in 2011-2012, but at 0.35% of GDP, still less than the originally planned 0.38%; disaster aid increased by AU$50 million
- Switzerland: Increase of US$140 million; ODA set to exceed $2 billion in 2012 and reach 0.5% of GNI by 2015
- Belgium: Increase from €2,014 million in 2011 (0.53% of GNI) to €2,172 (0.56% of GNI) in 2012
- Finland: Increased to €1,201 million from €1,074 in 2011
- South Korea: Committed to ODA at 0.15% of GNI by 2012 and 0.25% by 2015
- Austria: Increased from €796 million in 2011 to €1,469 million (0.27% to 0.47% of GNI) in 2012.
Little or no change:
- Denmark: To be maintained at 2010 level of DKK15.2 billion until 2013
- France: 1% increase in 2012 with a 3% decrease to follow in 2013
- European Union (EU) institutions: The EU’s 2012 Development Cooperation Instrument budget has been reduced by €70.7 million; however, the EU as a Global Player budget area is up by 7.4% from 2011 at €9.4 billion, with humanitarian aid spending up by 2.9%
- Norway: Aid budget of NOK27.8 billion represents a slight increase from NOK27.6 billion in 2011; however, this represents an actual reduction in US$. Funding for emergency relief, humanitarian assistance and human rights is up by NOK246 million ($41.5 million or €32.3 million).
- Turkey: No information available.