Falling share of G7 aid going to low income countries

by Guto Ifan



The share of official development assistance (ODA) going to low income countries (LICs) from the G7 fell to 33% in 2012. While in dollar terms aid had risen since 2004, it remained below the 2010 peak.

The G8 countries committed at their Gleneagles summit in 2005 to focus aid on LICs (see the G8’s 2013 accountability report, p122). While overall aid from G7 countries increased by almost a half between 2004 and 2013, a falling share of aid is going to countries classified by the World Bank as low income in each year (based on gross national income per person).

Some 40% of G7 ODA went to LICs in 2004, peaking at 43% in 2006. But this has since fallen back to 33% in 2012, though this was higher than the low of 31% in 2011.

But because overall ODA has grown since 2004, the amount of aid going to countries classed as LICs actually increased 11%: from US$25 billion to US$28 billion by 2012. Yet at the same time aid to countries not defined as LICs increased by 54%.

Individually, the G7 performance is varied. Three donors increased their ODA to LICs during the same period: the US by 51%, the UK by 19% and Canada by 11%. But Italy saw their ODA to LICs fall by 39%, France by 33% and Germany by 14%. Japan gives the largest proportion of its ODA to LICs (41%), followed by the US (38%). France gives 20% of its aid to LICs, the lowest share among the G7.

Data are available in Excel and CSV format.


The chart shows the amount going to countries classified by the World Bank as being low income countries in each given year. ODA figures include bilateral and imputed multilateral ODA, excluding debt relief.


DI calculations from OECD table DAC2a