Data released today show that the UK is indeed the first G7 donor to reach the UN-endorsed target of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) as official development assistance (ODA).
UK net ODA increased in 2013 by almost a third (30.5%), or £2.7 billion, from 2012 levels. This increase was divided roughly equally between bilateral aid – provided by governments to developing countries and regions – and multilateral aid – provided through organisations such as the UN and World Bank. UK bilateral aid’s share fell from 63% to 60%, while the multilateral share increased from 37% to 40%.
The British government has confirmed that 0.7% will also be met in 2014. Now the target has been reached, if this policy is maintained UK aid will now move with changes in future national income.
DFID had been aiming for a ratio of 0.703%, allowing a margin for uncertainty around 2013 GNI estimates. While it appears that the UK has overshot the 0.7% target slightly, these are provisional data that will be finalised in October 2014. Changes in how UK GNI is measured are expected to lead to this being revised upwards: while ODA may also be revised slightly, this means that the final ratio may be closer to 0.7%.
Development Initiatives’ presentation of data in DFID/ONS, Provisional UK ODA as a proportion of GNI (for 2013), Apr 2014 and 0.7% of 2013 GNI figure derived from Q3 2013 national accounts data, 28 Mar 2014