Donors gave a record amount of aid for hosting refugees in 2015 while also increasing spending elsewhere


New data was released today by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) on global aid spending. The data shows that official development assistance (ODA; also known as aid) spending on refugees in donor countries overall has more than doubled to US$13.9 billion between 2014 and 2015. However, this has not come at the expense of other aid spending. Even when excluding the spending on refugees in country, total ODA has still risen by US$2.2 billion or 1.7%.

Global ODA spending to show proportion on refugee costs

Global ODA spending to show proportion of refugee costs_upload

Key figures

  • Total global ODA spending in 2014: US$137.2 billion.
  • Total global ODA spending in 2015: US$146.7 billion.
  • Global ODA spending excluding refugee costs in 2014: US$130.6 billion.
  • Global ODA spending excluding refugee costs in 2015: US$132.8 billion.
  • Refugee spending has risen from US$6.6 billion in 2014 to US$13.9 billion in 2015.

EU countries with the highest spending on refugee costs

Germany: Germany’s total ODA spending in 2015 was US$20.9 billion, up from US$16.6 billion in 2014. Excluding refugee costs from these figures, aid spending still increased by 5.8% between 2014 and 2015.

Italy: Italy’s total ODA spending in 2015 was US$4.6 billion, up from US$4 billion in 2014. Excluding refugee costs from these figures, aid spending still increased by 7.5% between 2014 and 2015.

Netherlands: The Netherland’s total ODA spending in 2015 was US$6.9 billion, up from US$5.6 billion in 2014. Excluding refugee costs from these figures, aid spending still increased by 15.4% between 2014 and 2015.

Sweden: Sweden’s total ODA spending in 2015 was US$8.5 billion, up from US$602 billion in 2014. Excluding refugee costs from these figures, aid spending still increased by 9.9% between 2014 and 2015.

Harpinder Collacott, Executive Director at Development Initiatives said: “These figures show an encouraging picture. Aid donors are still maintaining their commitments to end global poverty whilst also meeting the challenges on their doorsteps posed by the current refugee crisis in Europe.”

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Contact: Anna Abuhelal, Communications Manager at Development Initiatives

E: Anna.Abuhelal@devinit.org T: +44(0)1179 272505 M: +44(0) 7894442055

Notes to editors

  • ‘Refugee costs’ refers to costs incurred within donor countries
  • All figures are in constant 2014 prices
  • A full breakdown of the figures behind this analysis is available on request
  • Development Initiatives will publish a full factsheet on all the key findings from the data release tomorrow