• Factsheet
  • 14 April 2016

Aid spending by Development Assistance Committee donors in 2015

An overview of key trends in official development assistance emerging from the provisional 2015 Development Assistance Committee data release.

Key findings

  • Official development assistance (ODA) increased to a new peak in 2015: Collectively ODA from the 28 Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors totalled US$146.7 billion in 2015, compared with US$137.2 billion in 2014. (US$ figures throughout are 2014 constant prices.)
  • 22 of the 28 DAC countries reported a real-terms increase in ODA: The largest increase in ODA in monetary terms came from Germany – a rise of US$4.3 billion, or 26%. This meant Germany overtook the UK as the second largest donor after the US. The largest percentage increases were from Greece (39%) and Sweden (37%).
  • Most of the rise in ODA was due to increased spending on refugees within donor countries: ODA targeted on the sustenance of refugees housed in donor countries rose from US$6.6 billion in 2014 to US$13.9 billion in 2015 – by far the largest figure ever recorded. European donors most strongly affected by the ongoing refugee crisis showed large proportional increases in their total ODA between 2014 and 2015.
  • However ODA excluding refugee costs also rose: When spending on refugees in donor countries is subtracted from the total, the remaining ODA also showed an increase of US$2.2 billion or 1.7%.
  • The US reduced ODA disbursements significantly: Total ODA from the US fell by US$2.3 billion, a reduction of over 7% compared with 2014. Australia also continued its recent trend of cutting ODA, recording a real-terms decrease for the 3rd straight year – Australian ODA is now almost US$900 million below its 2012 peak.
  • Six DAC donors now meet 0.7% (up from five in 2014): Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg and the UK all maintained ODA above the UN 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) target. The Netherlands increased its ODA to above 0.7% of GNI for the first time since 2012, partly due to increased spending on hosting refugees.
  • Most donors reported increased ODA as a proportion of GNI: 17 donors reported an improvement in this measure. Again some, though not all, of these increases are due to increased spending on hosting refugees.
  • After falling in 2014, ODA to LDCs rose in 2015: However ODA to LDCs is still significantly below its 2011 peak and just seven donors met the target of giving at least 0.15% of GNI as ODA to LDCs. (Germany has yet to provide preliminary 2015 data on ODA to LDCs – for the purposes of this briefing, it has been assumed that Germany’s ODA to these countries was approximately the same in 2015 as in 2014.)
  • Loans again increased, but the rate of increase in bilateral lending was slower than previous years: New gross bilateral lending from DAC-28 donors rose 4% between 2014 and 2015. Lending from France actually fell by 5%, but Germany continued its recent trend of increased lending, disbursing US$6.3 billion of loans in 2015 – 28% higher than in 2014.

Figure 1: Most donors increased ODA disbursements in 2015

Proportional changes in DAC donors’ ODA, 2014–2015 (constant US $ 2014 prices)

fig 1

Source: Development Initiatives, based on OECD DAC data

Figure 2: Six donors reported ODA exceeding 0.7% of GNI in 2015

Changes in ODA/GNI proportion, 2014–2015

fig 2

Source: Development Initiatives, based on OECD DAC data

Table 1: Headline figures for 2015 preliminary ODA data, by DAC country donor

table 1

Source: Development Initiatives, based on OECD DAC data

Note: *Including multilateral ODA

Figure 3: Spending on the hosting of refugees doubled, but other forms of ODA rose as well

Total ODA 2006–2015, showing amount spent on refugees in donor countries

fig 3

Source: Development Initiatives, based on OECD DAC data

Figure 4: ODA to LDCs rose slightly, but is still below the 2010 level

Bilateral ODA from DAC donors to LDCs 2005–2015

fig 4

Source: Development Initiatives, based on OECD DAC data

Figure 5: Only 7 donors gave more than 0.15% of GNI as ODA to LDCs

fig 5

Source: Development Initiatives, based on OECD DAC data

Note: Germany has yet to provide preliminary 2015 data on ODA to LDCs – for the purposes of this briefing, it has been assumed that Germany’s ODA to these countries was approximately the same in 2015 as in 2014.

Table 2: Loans continue to grow, but the proportion of ODA given as bilateral loans stayed the same in 2015

table 2

Source: OECD, DAC 2015 provisional data release, ADV spreadsheet, 13 April 2016

 

Contact

Rob Tew, Head of Technical Development

E: rob.tew@devinit.org

 

Photo: Ben White/ CAFOD, October 2015