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  • Data tool
  • 30 July 2020

Tracking aid flows in light of the Covid-19 crisis

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen an unprecedented response from the global community, with high volumes of resources committed, including in the form of official development assistance (ODA). Development Initiatives (DI) is tracking these flows, assessing how assistance is responding to the crisis and how aid trends may be changing. Tracing these commitments enables improved planning, and allows donors and recipient countries to see how pledges translate into assistance.

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Overview

This data tool uses the most current data (updated 10 July 2020) to show:

How volumes of aid commitments have changed in 2020

  • See month-by-month commitments, disaggregated by bilateral donors[1] and multilateral donors.[2]

How volumes of aid commitments by sector have changed in 2020

  • See month-by-month commitments, disaggregated by bilateral and multilateral donors, to the following sectors:
    • health
    • water and sanitation
    • social protection
    • agriculture

What proportion of aid commitments is allocated to countries with the highest percentage of people living in extreme poverty?

  • See commitments by bilateral and multilateral donors, disaggregated by proportion of people living in extreme poverty in recipient countries.

This data is as near to real-time as is possible, and will be updated monthly.[3] Data is sourced from the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).[4] We show comparisons to 2019 and to our expected values for the first five months of 2020 (based on trends from 2015–2019). The latter allows us to view the impacts of Covid-19 on aid commitments separately from long-term trends. The content is based on our factsheet ‘How are aid budgets changing due to the Covid-19 crisis?’, which contains more detailed analysis and a methodology. Additional data will be added as our analysis progresses.

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Changes in volumes of aid commitments

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Figure 1: Commitments from bilateral donors are US$4.0 billion (19.0%) lower than expected in the first five months of 2020

Total commitments reported to IATI by selected bilateral donors

Figure 1: Commitments from bilateral donors are US$4.0 billion (19.0%) lower than expected in the first five months of 2020

Total commitments reported to IATI by selected bilateral donors

Source: Development Initiatives based on IATI.

Notes: The error bars denote the 90% confidence interval for commitment value from the selected multilateral donors in 2020. Where the actual value is outside this range, this is considered a statistically significant change. For the full methodology and list of selected bilateral donors, see our factsheet ‘How are aid budgets changing due to the Covid-19 crisis?’[5]

  • Bilateral aid commitments reported to IATI in the first five months of 2020 (US$16.9 billion) are lower than expected – a third less than the same period in 2019 (US$23.9 billion).
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Figure 2: Commitments from multilateral donors are US$17.6 billion (56.3%) higher than expected in the first five months of 2020

Total commitments reported to IATI by selected multilateral donors

Figure 2: Commitments from multilateral donors are US$17.6 billion (56.3%) higher than expected in the first five months of 2020

Total commitments reported to IATI by selected multilateral donors

Source: Development Initiatives based on IATI.

Notes: The error bars denote the 90% confidence interval for commitment value from the selected multilateral donors in 2020. Where the actual value is outside this range, this is considered a statistically significant change. For the full methodology and list of selected multilateral donors, see our factsheet ‘How are aid budgets changing due to the Covid-19 crisis?’[6]

  • Multilateral donors have increased their commitments by 70.0% in the first five months of 2020 (to a total of US$48.8 billion) compared with the same period in 2019 (which totalled US$28.7 billion).
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Changes in aid commitments by sector

Health, water and sanitation, social protection and agriculture are vital sectors for crisis response. They have seen mixed commitment trends in the first five months of 2020.

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Figure 3: Commitments to health increased in the first five months of 2020 (US$8.2 billion) compared to 2019 (US$4.4 billion) due to a large increase in May

Total health commitments reported to IATI by selected bilateral and multilateral donors in the first five months of 2019 and 2020

Figure 3: Commitments to health increased in the first five months of 2020 (US$8.2 billion) compared to 2019 (US$4.4 billion) due to a large increase in May

Total health commitments reported to IATI by selected bilateral and multilateral donors in the first five months of 2019 and 2020

Source: Development Initiatives based on IATI.

Notes: For the full methodology and list of selected bilateral/multilateral donors, see our factsheet ‘How are aid budgets changing due to the Covid-19 crisis?’[7]

  • Commitments to the health sector have remained roughly constant in the first four months of 2020 (compared to 2019), totalling around US$3 billion.
  • Multilateral commitments in May 2020 (US$4.1 billion) were US$3.2 billion greater than in May 2019 (US$ 0.9 billion).
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Figure 4: Commitments to water and sanitation remained steady from bilateral donors in the first five months of 2020 (US$0.4 billion) and more than doubled from multilateral donors (US$3.1 billion) compared to 2019

Total water and sanitation commitments reported to IATI by selected bilateral and multilateral donors in the first five months of 2019 and 2020

Figure 4: Commitments to water and sanitation remained steady from bilateral donors in the first five months of 2020 (US$0.4 billion) and more than doubled from multilateral donors (US$3.1 billion) compared to 2019

Total water and sanitation commitments reported to IATI by selected bilateral and multilateral donors in the first five months of 2019 and 2020

Source: Development Initiatives based on IATI.

Notes: For the full methodology and list of selected bilateral/multilateral donors, see our factsheet ‘How are aid budgets changing due to the Covid-19 crisis?’[8]

  • Commitments to the water and sanitation sector as a proportion of total commitments have stayed roughly steady in the first five months of 2020 (despite a long-term decreasing trend).
  • In absolute terms, multilateral commitments to water and sanitation have increased considerably, driven by a fourfold increase in commitments to the sector in March 2020 (US$3.0 billion) compared with March 2019.
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Figure 5: Commitments to social protection in the first five months of 2020 have increased eightfold to US$6.0 billion, compared to 2019

Total social protection commitments reported to IATI by selected bilateral and multilateral donors in the first five months of 2019 and 2020

Figure 5: Commitments to social protection in the first five months of 2020 have increased eightfold to US$6.0 billion, compared to 2019

Total social protection commitments reported to IATI by selected bilateral and multilateral donors in the first five months of 2019 and 2020

Source: Development Initiatives based on IATI.

Notes: For the full methodology and list of selected bilateral/multilateral donors, see our factsheet ‘How are aid budgets changing due to the Covid-19 crisis?’[9]

  • The social protection sector has seen a considerable increase in absolute volumes of commitments (driven by multilateral donors) in the first five months of 2020 – from US$0.8 billion in 2019 to US$6.0 billion in 2020.
  • These increases from multilateral donors came in the form of large commitment totals in March, April and May 2020 (US$1.4 billion, US$1.7 billion and US$2.9 billion respectively).
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Figure 6: Commitments to agriculture remained steady at US$2.5 billion for the first five months of 2020, similar to 2019

Total agriculture commitments reported to IATI by selected bilateral and multilateral donors in the first five months of 2019 and 2020

Figure 6: Commitments to agriculture remained steady at US$2.5 billion for the first five months of 2020, similar to 2019

Total agriculture commitments reported to IATI by selected bilateral and multilateral donors in the first five months of 2019 and 2020

Source: Development Initiatives based on IATI.

Notes: For the full methodology and list of selected bilateral/multilateral donors, see our factsheet ‘How are aid budgets changing due to the Covid-19 crisis?’[10]

  • The agriculture sector has seen similar commitment values in the first five months of 2020 (US$2.5 billion) to 2019 (US$2.7 billion). As a proportion of total commitments, this is a slight reduction compared to 2019.
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Commitments by poverty rates in countries

ODA is a vital resource for the poorest countries and people.

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Figure 7: Proportion of bilateral commitments to countries with the most people living in extreme poverty has remained constant in the first five months of 2020 (38.6% to countries with a poverty rate exceeding 40%) compared to 2019

Proportion of commitments by selected bilateral donors reported to IATI by recipient country extreme poverty rate (US$1.90 per person a day)

Figure 7: Proportion of bilateral commitments to countries with the most people living in extreme poverty has remained constant in the first five months of 2020 (38.6% to countries with a poverty rate exceeding 40%) compared to 2019

Proportion of commitments by selected bilateral donors reported to IATI by recipient country extreme poverty rate (US$1.90 per person a day)

Source: Development Initiatives based on IATI.

Notes: For the full methodology and list of selected bilateral donors, see our factsheet ‘How are aid budgets changing due to the Covid-19 crisis?’[11]

  • In the first 5 months of 2020, bilateral donors committed 38.6% of ODA to countries with a poverty rate exceeding 40% (a similar figure to the first five months of 2019: 36.4%).
  • However, in absolute terms, this is a considerable decrease in those funds committed to the poorest from bilateral donors.
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Figure 8: Proportion of multilateral commitments to countries with the most people living in extreme poverty has decreased in the first five months of 2020 (22.2% to countries with a poverty rate exceeding 40%) compared to 2019

Proportion of commitments by selected multilateral donors reported to IATI by recipient country extreme poverty rate (US$1.90 per person a day)

Figure 8: Proportion of multilateral commitments to countries with the most people living in extreme poverty has decreased in the first five months of 2020 (22.2% to countries with a poverty rate exceeding 40%) compared to 2019

Proportion of commitments by selected multilateral donors reported to IATI by recipient country extreme poverty rate (US$1.90 per person a day)

Source: Development Initiatives based on IATI.

Notes: For the full methodology and list of selected multilateral donors, see our factsheet ‘How are aid budgets changing due to the Covid-19 crisis?’[12]

  • Multilateral donors, proportionally, committed considerably more to countries with a poverty rate of between 5% and 20% in the first five months of 2020 than in 2019. This corresponds to a considerable increase in funds committed to those countries in absolute terms also.
  • There has however been a three-percentage-point decrease in commitments to countries with a poverty rate of 20–40%, and a four-percentage-point decrease in commitments to countries with a poverty rate exceeding 40%.

Notes

  • 2

    A group which includes Unicef, the World Bank and the World Health Organization.

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  • 3

    In future editions of this data tool, we plan to track humanitarian and development resource flows by country, sector, agency and modality.

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  • 4

    In future editions of this data tool, we plan to use data from the OCHA Financial Tracking Service as well as datasets maintained by donors and implementing agencies.

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