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  • Data tool
  • 31 March 2021

Tracking aid flows in light of the Covid-19 crisis

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This tracker is updated monthly. The current data covers up to the end of January 2021. To receive monthly data updates by email, subscribe to our work on financing for sustainable development and crisis response.

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Overview

This tracker uses a unique real-time data to track and analyse aid commitments in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and bring forth evidence about how aid trends may be changing.

The data is sourced from the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). Real-time data from IATI is not curated and therefore open to small changes as the data is updated. This could result in changes to aspects of historical transactions as well as movement of transactions from one month to another. This can be due, for example, to adjustments between operations and accounting departments, journal entries to deal with accrual accounting or cumulative reporting over a quarter.

We compare data from February 2018 to January 2021 to show the changes in aid flows from pre-Covid levels. Our briefing ‘How is aid changing in the Covid-19 pandemic?’, contains more detail on our methodology. Additional data will be added each month as donors publish more recent information on their aid commitments.

The data in this tool is updated monthly. It currently shows data up to the end of January 2021.

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Aid commitments and disbursements

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Figure 1: Aid commitments from IFIs have grown substantially in 2020 compared to 2019 – while bilateral donors’ aid commitments have declined

Aid commitments by key bilateral donors, IFIs and multilateral institutions (February 2018 – January 2021)

Figure 1: Aid commitments from IFIs have grown substantially in 2020 compared to 2019 – while bilateral donors’ aid commitments have declined

Bar chart showing that aid commitments from IFIs have grown substantially in 2020 compared to 2019 – while bilateral donors’ aid commitments have declined.

Source: Development Initiatives based on IATI.

Notes: IFI = international financial institution; OOF = other official flows.

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Figure 2: IFI aid disbursements (including a growing proportion of ODA) have accelerated, while bilateral disbursements have decreased

Aid disbursements by key bilateral donors, IFIs and multilateral institutions (February 2018 – January 2021)

Figure 2: IFI aid disbursements (including a growing proportion of ODA) have accelerated, while bilateral disbursements have decreased

Bar chart showing that IFI aid disbursements (including a growing proportion of ODA) have accelerated, while bilateral disbursements have decreased

Source: Development Initiatives based on IATI.

Notes: IFI = international financial institution; OOF = other official flows.

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Aid targeting towards poverty

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Figure 3: Proportionally, bilateral donors' aid commitments to the poorest countries have slightly decreased, while lower middle-income countries have seen the largest increase

Comparison of aid to country income groupings for bilateral donors (February 2018 – January 2021)

Figure 3: Proportionally, bilateral donors' aid commitments to the poorest countries have slightly decreased, while lower middle-income countries have seen the largest increase

Bar chart showing that, proportionally, bilateral donors' aid commitments to the poorest countries have slightly decreased with lower middle-income countries seeing the largest increase

Source: Development Initiatives based on IATI and World Bank country income groups.

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Figure 4: Proportionally, IFI commitments to low-income countries have dropped between 2019 and 2020

Comparison of aid to country income groupings for IFIs (February 2018 – January 2021)

Figure 4: Proportionally, IFI commitments to low-income countries have dropped between 2019 and 2020

Bar chart showing that, proportionally, IFI commitments to low-income countries have dropped between 2019 and 2020

Source: Development Initiatives based on IATI and World Bank country income groups.

Notes: IFI = international financial institution; LIC = low-income country.

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Figure 5: Bilateral donors have decreased the proportion of aid commitments to countries with the highest rates of extreme poverty

Comparison of aid by poverty banding between bilateral donors and IFIs (February 2018 – January 2021)

Figure 5: Bilateral donors have decreased the proportion of aid commitments to countries with the highest rates of extreme poverty

Bar chart showing that bilateral donors have decreased the proportion of aid commitments to countries with the highest rates of extreme poverty

Source: Development Initiatives based on IATI and World Bank PovcalNet.

Notes: IFI = international financial institution. People living in extreme poverty are defined as living on less than PPP$1.90 a day.

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Aid commitments to sectors

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Figure 6: Bilateral donors have maintained aid commitments to health, driving smaller reductions in social sectors at the expense of some other sectors

Changes by bilateral donors in broad sector focus (February 2018 – January 2021)

Figure 6: Bilateral donors have maintained aid commitments to health, driving smaller reductions in social sectors at the expense of some other sectors

Bar chart showing that bilateral donors have maintained aid commitments to health, driving smaller reductions in social sectors at the expense of some other sectors

Source: Development Initiatives based on IATI.

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Figure 7: Aid commitments from IFIs have increased across a range of sectors, with a particular focus on social sectors

Changes by IFIs in broad sector focus (February 2018 – January 2021

Figure 7: Aid commitments from IFIs have increased across a range of sectors, with a particular focus on social sectors

Bar chart showing aid commitments from IFIs have increased across a range of sectors, with a particular focus on social sectors

Source: Development Initiatives based on IATI.

Notes: IFI = international financial institution.

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Figure 8: Bilateral donors have focused aid commitments on both health and banking and business, at the expense of other sectors, while IFIs have seen proportionally greater focus on social protection, education and health

Sector percentage changes for bilateral donors and IFIs (February 2019 – January 2021)

Figure 8: Bilateral donors have focused aid commitments on both health and banking and business, at the expense of other sectors, while IFIs have seen proportionally greater focus on social protection, education and health

Bar chart showing that bilateral donors have focused aid commitments on both health and banking and business, at the expense of other sectors, while IFIs have seen proportionally greater focus on social protection, education and health, with volume increases across the board

Source: Development Initiatives based on IATI.

Notes: IFI = international financial institution.