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New ODA statistics show UK assistance fell by US$4 billion between 2020 and 2021

UK ODA was £11.5 billion (US$15.4 billion) in 2021 according to recently published ODA statistics. This represents a fall of £3 billion (US$4 billion) between 2020 and 2021 as UK ODA was reduced from 0.7% to 0.5% of GNI. If the UK had maintained its commitment to deliver 0.7%, its ODA would have risen to £16 billion (US$21.5 billion) or £4.6 billion (US$6.2 billion) larger.

Below are some key trends observed from the statistics:

  • The majority of cuts landed on the bilateral program, with it dropping in share from 69% in 2019 to 62% in 2021 with a £2.5 billion (US$3.4 billion) cut in bilateral ODA;
  • while bilateral ODA to all regions fell, Africa took the largest cuts. The Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) provided 55% of its bilateral ODA in 2020 to Africa, but this fell to a share of 52% in 2021, accounting for an £864 million (US$1.1 billion) cut. This is likely a result of the region holding a substantial amount of large bilateral programs that were cut; and
  • the OECD statistics also confirmed the UK counted US$141 million of its ODA budget on vaccine donations. UK NGOs have been very critical of this policy noting that the donations should not come out of the ODA budget.

News articles – BOND, Devex

UK government – 2021 Provisional ODA statistics



EU Institutions’ ODA level decreases by 8.2% in 2021

According to preliminary data from the OECD, the EU Institutions’ (EUI) ODA decreased in 2021 compared to 2020 by 8.1% in real terms, with a total of US$19 billion on a grant equivalent basis. The EUI’s ODA for COVID-19-related activities in 2021 totaled US$10.5 billion.

The overall decrease is primarily due to repayments on private sector loans, which are recorded as net flows, and the frontloading of payments in 2020 to enable the EU to provide a quicker COVID-19 response and support to its partner countries. 

Press release - OECD

Australian head of OECD secretariat calls for donors to increase ODA following cuts during tenure as finance minister

Mattias Cormann, the Secretary-General of the OECD, has urged donor countries to increase their ODA levels.

As noted by the Guardian, Cormann was Australia’s Minister for Finance in 2014. In that year’s budget, Australia’s government announced a reduction of A$7.9 billion (US$5.8 billion) over 5 years from Australia’s ODA budget. Later, in December of that year, the Treasurer and Finance Minister Corman indicated they would take another A$3.7 billion (US$2.7 billion) from the Australian ODA budget over the coming 4 years.

Aid NGOs have nonetheless welcomed Corman’s call to increase official development assistance, at a time when Australia was facing a declining ODA/GNI ratio.

Media report – Guardian Australia

Italy provides largest jump in ODA spending in 2021, according to preliminary OECD data

The OECD released its preliminary data for 2021, covering ODA by member countries of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

 In 2021, ODA increased in 23 DAC countries. This was largely due to additional support for low-income countries hit by the COVID-19 crisis. The most significant increase in funding was from Italy (34.5%), "due to debt cancellations, an increase in in-donor refugee costs, and support to the multilateral system to address the pandemic (including through vaccine donations)."

Summary note - OECD website

Preliminary 2021 OECD data shows increase in South Korea's ODA, in volume and as percentage of GNI

According to the 2021 preliminary ODA data recently released by the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC), South Korea’s total ODA was US$2.9 billion and it was nearly 0.2% of GNI, which was an increase of US$610 million from the previous year. This information indicates that South Korea made efforts to meet its latest target of reaching 0.3% of GNI as ODA by 2030. South Korea ranked 15th in terms of ODA volume (it was 16th in 2020) and ranked 25th for ODA/GNI among 29 OECD DAC member states.

The significant increase can be explained by active multilateral cooperation and increasing bilateral assistance. In particular, the South Korean government proactively provided low-income countries with COVID-19 vaccines and supplies. This included a US$100 million commitment to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment mechanism (COVAX AMC), US$190 million in humanitarian assistance, and an emergency loan of US$170 million. South Korea will continuously expand its ODA expenditure by doubling the level compared to 2019 as noted in the government's 3rd Mid-Term Strategy for Development Cooperation.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)

News article – Newspim (in Korean)

Think tank calls for more tailored approach in EU’s partnerships with Least Developed Countries

A major European development policy think tank, the European Center for Development Policy (ECDPM), has published a discussion paper calling for the EU to develop a more targeted approach to its partnerships with Least Developed Countries (LDCs) that better addresses their specific development needs. 

ECDPM published this discussion paper to provide input as the Council's current French presidency is exploring how to renew the EU’s partnership with LDCs. ECDPM doesn’t recommend an EU policy for LDCs broadly, but instead recommends the EU take a country-specific approach that takes into consideration differing contexts. The paper also recommends the EU establish a more coherent development policy, honor its commitments and strengthen support for official development assistance ODA for LDCs, and adopt measures in key policy areas, such as climate and food security.

Policy paper - ECDPM

South Korea and Africa CDC strengthen partnerships on public health

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) and Africa Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish a cooperative system for the early recognition of and response to future pandemics by controlling and preventing infectious diseases.

They set up a joint action plan that stipulates specific projects for the next three years, including a joint simulation training to strengthen disease monitoring and information sharing. The plan will also pursue new grant projects starting in 2023 to strengthen development cooperation between South Korea and partner countries on the continent.

Press release – Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (in Korean)

News article – Korea (in Korean)

US$10.1 billion in new funding committed in 'Stand Up for Ukraine' campaign

Global Citizen, along with the European Commission and the Canadian government, launched a 'Stand Up for Ukraine' global social media rally on April 8, 2022. US$10.1 billion in funding - US$4.6 billion in grants and US$5.5 billion in loans) have been committed during the campaign, and 20,277 actions have been taken to support those fleeing their homes in Ukraine. 

The campaign culminated in a pledging event in Warsaw on April 9, 2022, to recognize Poland's essential role in supporting refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. Global Citizen called on donors to recognize the importance of utilizing this funding as both new and additional; specifically, the use of the funds should not undermine other development priorities, nor should it pit crises against each other. 

Canada: As a co-host of the campaign, Canada committed an additional CAD$100 million (US$79 million) in humanitarian support to Ukraine and neighboring countries with a particular focus on trauma care. Canada has provided CAD 245 million (US$194 million) since January of 2022 for the crisis. 

EU: The European Commission, a co-host of the campaign, committed €600 million (US$660 million) for Ukraine and €400 million (US$440 million) for refugees hosted in the EU.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) committed €4 billion (US$4.4 billion) for 2022-2023 to support EU member states hosting Ukrainian refugees and to develop social infrastructure. This contribution is a part of the EIB’s Ukraine Solidarity Package, under which the EIB has already provided a €668 million (US$755 million) financial aid package to Ukraine to help Ukrainian authorities meet the country’s “most urgent financial needs”, such as buying food, medical supplies, and fuel.

The Council of Europe Development committed €1 billion (US1.1 billion) in loans to member states to support countries hosting refugees. 

Italy: Italy pledged an additional €360 million (US$396 million) in humanitarian assistance for refugees in Europe. 

Sweden: Sweden committed €300 million (US$330 million) to in-country refugee hosts, specifying that the funding would not come out of the official development assistance (ODA) budget. 

Additional donors: Additional countries expressed their support for the campaign and reiterated existing funding promises. 

The Donor Tracker was included as one of the 77 signatories in the open letter to world leaders. 

Report - Global Citizen

News article - Global Citizen

Press release - European Commission

Press release - EIB

Canada co-convenes Stand Up for Ukraine event with European Commission, raising US$9.8 billion

On April 9, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau co-convened the “Stand Up for Ukraine” pledging event with the President of the European Commission and in partnership with Global Citizen in a worldwide show of solidarity with Ukraine. The event raised over CA$12.4 billion (US$9.8 billion) to address the crisis and support Ukrainian refugees.

As part of the event, Trudeau announced an additional CA$100 million (US$79 million) to support emergency health services, including trauma care, protection, shelter, water, and food to respond to the worsening crisis in Ukraine and neighboring countries. 

With this announcement, Canada has provided CA$245 million (US$194 million) since January 2022 in assistance to respond to the conflict in Ukraine. Furthermore, in the government's 2022 budget, Canada announced more than CA$1.2 billion (US$951 million) in direct contributions to support Ukraine, in addition to an offer of up to CA$1.6 billion (US$1.3 billion) in loan support to the Ukrainian government.

Press release - Prime Minister of Canada 
Press release - Prime Minister of Canada

European Commission pledges US$83 million in grants, EIB commits US$1.1 billion in front-loaded financing to COVAX AMC

During the 2022 'Break COVID Now Summit', an event hosted by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to raise money for the COVAX Advanced Market Commitment (AMC), the European Commission pledged €75 million (US$82 million) in grants, and the European Investment Bank (EIB) committed €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) in front-loaded financing for the COVAX AMC.

COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), the global effort to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. 

The EIB has previously contributed €900 million (US$992 million) in financing to enable COVAX to more rapidly access cash. The Commission has previously committed €400 million (US$441 million) in grants and €600 million (US$661 million) in guarantees to COVAX.

Additional analysis of donors can be found here

Press release - Gavi

Press release - EIB

Canada announces US$175 million to support COVID-19 vaccination in low-income countries

On April 8, 2022, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced CA$220 million (US$175 million) in additional funding to support COVID-19 vaccination needs in lower income countries.

The assistance will address barriers to access to COVID-19 vaccines and improve the financial, operational, and technical capacity of lower-income countries to distribute vaccines. This support builds on more than CA$2.7 billion (US$2.1 billion) that Canada has already provided for international assistance in response to COVID-19.

Press release - Prime Minister of Canada

Canada’s International Development Research Centre announces new research projects to improve sexual, reproductive, maternal health in Africa

Canada’s International Development Research Centre selected seven new projects to advance sexual, reproductive, and maternal health innovations in Ghana, Gambia, Niger, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Malawi, and South Africa using gender-transformative approaches.

Gender-transformative research involves generating evidence to address gender inequalities to create lasting social change. The in-country-led teams will work over three years in the seven countries to strengthen participatory and community-based approaches, and inform global action to address the root causes of poor sexual, reproductive, and maternal health outcomes.

Press release - International Development Research Centre

South Korea reaffirms commitment to global health at COVAX AMC Summit

South Korea’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Choi Jongmoon, participated in the COVAX AMC Summit co-organized by Gavi and Germany.

Vice Minister Choi highlighted South Korea’s efforts to support the global vaccination campaign by increasing the supply of vaccines and training bio and healthcare professionals as the host country of the WHO Bio-manufacturing Workforce Training Hub. South Korea will provide another US$100 million in cash and in-kind contributions as pledged at the G7 Summit in 2021.

Additional information on all Summit donors can be found here

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)

News article – Korea (in Korean)

Germany commits US$441 million to COVAX at Gavi's 'Break COVID Now' Summit

On April 8, 2022, Germany, together with Ghana, Indonesia, and Senegal, co-costed Gavi’s digital 'Break COVID Now' Summit with the goal of raising US$5.2 billion in funding for COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. Falling US$400 million short of the funding goal, a total of US$4.8 billion was committed during the summit.

This includes funding worth US$1.7 billion from sovereign donors, US$2.1 billion via new innovative financial mechanisms provided by the European Investment Bank and the United States Development Finance Corporation, and US$1.0 billion of funding by multilateral development banks.

Germany pledged US$441 (€400 million) to COVAX, of which US$386 million (€350 million) will go to Gavi and US$55 million (€50 million) to UNICEF. The pledge is part of a broader US$1.2 billion funding package for the ACT-Accelerator, which Germany announced at the beginning of March of 2022, but is still pending cabinet and parliamentary approval.

COVAX will deploy these commitments to strengthen the vaccine logistics in the partner countries, including, for example, improving cooling conditions for vaccine doses and investing in health personnel and equipment. Further, the funding will contribute to establishing a Pandemic Vaccine Pool that stands ready to be activated if new and threatening COVID-19 variants emerge and to supply partner countries with variant-adopted vaccines.

Additional information on all donors at the Summit can be found here

Press release – Gavi 

Press release – Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (in German) 

Think tanks based in Spain, Africa gather to advance women's empowerment

On April 8, 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (MAEC) organized a discussion session between think tanks based in Spain and Africa aimed at sharing ideas on how to advance women's empowerment on the African continent.

Earmarked under two recent milestones of Spain’s international development activities, the Guidelines for a ‘Feminist Foreign Policy’ and the ‘Focus Africa 2023’, the meeting served to launch an informal network of African and Spanish think tanks that will work together in order to foster evidence-based, strategic studies around women's empowerment and the women, peace, and security agenda.

The meeting was hosted and facilitated by the Spanish State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ángeles Moreno Bau.

Seven think tanks based in Africa participated in the meeting, including the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), the Timbuktu Institute, the Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA), the Research and Analysis Group for Development (GRAAD), the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), the Western Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).

Six think tanks based in Spain participated in the meeting, including the Royal Institute Elcano, the Alternativas Foundation, the Barcelona Centre for International Studies (CIDOB), Oxfam Intermón, the African Studies Group, and the Spanish Institute for Strategic Studies.

Press release – MAEC (in Spanish)

France aligns priorities with Global Fund at HIV/AIDS conference

During the AFRAVIH (French Alliance of Health Actors Against HIV/AIDS, and Chronic and Emerging Viral Infections) conference held in Marseille, several NGOs, think tanks, academics, and government decision-makers discussed the HIV/AIDS pandemic and addressed how to end the pandemic by 2030. 

Françoise Vanni, a representative of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, attended the conference and introduced the organization's investment priorities for the next 3 years, which aim to mobilize at least US$18 billion. Stéphanie Seydoux, the French Ambassador for Global Health, presented France and the Global Fund's shared priorities, which include:

  • partner country ownership at the national and local level; 
  • the promotion of inclusiveness for those living with HIV/AIDS through national coordination mechanisms; and, 
  • the promotion of human rights and the fight against discrimination and criminalization of those with HIV/AIDS.  

The NGO, Aides, part of the Coalition Plus network, organized a protest calling for France to increase its contribution to The Global Fund by 50% for the next replenishment cycle.

News article - Seronet (in French)

France increases its contribution to the Global Environment Fund by 40%

During the 8th replenishment of the Global Environment Fund (GEF), one of the financial instruments of the Paris Climate Agreement, which took place virtually on April 8, 2022, 29 donors committed to allocating US$8.3 billion for the next four years (compared to US$4.1 billion in 2018 when the last replenishment occurred).

France announced a record contribution amounting to US$360 million, a 40% increase compared to its previous commitment.

GEF resources will help low-income countries in their efforts to protect the environment and tackle climate change. 36% of the allocated amount will be used for biodiversity protection.

Press release - French Ministry of Economy and Finance (in French)

Press release - Global Environment Facility

Development NGOs encouraged by increase in Canada's international assistance in 2022 federal budget

Cooperation Canada, a development NGO umbrella, is encouraged by Canada’s 2022 federal budget, released on April 7, 2022, which includes an increase in Canada’s international assistance and a willingness to address barriers to charitable activities in international development.

Cooperation Canada believes that this budget demonstrates the government’s commitment to international assistance as an effective way of enhancing health, prosperity, and human rights around the world. The budget increases Canada’s international assistance to over CA$8.0 billion (US$6.4 billion), an increase from CA$7.6 billion (US$6.0 billion) in 2020 - 2021.

This increase represents progress toward reaching Canada’s commitment to increase its international development assistance budget each year in support of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and it also puts Canada on a path to better align with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) peers. 

Cooperation Canada is also pleased that the 2022 budget responds to the repeated calls by the charitable sector to reduce barriers that inhibit charitable activities in Canada and abroad, specifically through the government’s support for Bill S-216, The Effective and Accountable Charities Act.

Op-ed - Cooperation Canada

Germany, UN Women, ILO host G7 Care Conference focused on paid and unpaid care work

On April 7, 2022, Germany, UN Women, and the International Labour Organization (ILO) jointly hosted a G7 Care Conference in Berlin. The event provided a platform for global delegates to discuss the important issue of paid and unpaid care work in international development.

The event marked UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous's first official visit to Germany. While in Berlin, Bahous met with German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze, who voiced her commitment to intensifying Germany's focus on gender equality in development cooperation and ensuring women’s full participation in decision-making at all levels. Bahous and Schulze also discussed their shared priorities including gender-sensitive responses to the war in Ukraine and supporting women in Afghanistan.

Press release - UN Women

Tweet - Sima Bahous

Australian development assistance shows increasing use of loans, cash transfers, but lower spending relative to defense

Australia’s latest budget indicated a move toward more cash assistance and away from Australia’s usual project-based official development assistance (ODA), the Lowy Institute reported.

Lowy believed the trend toward more cash assistance recently occurred partly because of the need to provide targeted COVID-19 assistance. Regional countries faced significant budget problems with declines in trade and tourism due to the pandemic. The move to cash assistance was also driven by strategic considerations, a desire for programming flexibility, and for improved assistance partnerships.

Australia has supported program assistance and completely avoided budget support in the past. Significant cash assistance provided to Papua New Guinea recently represents a complete reversal of the process initiated 30 years ago.

Australia’s development activities also saw an increase in loans through the Australian Infrastructure Finance Facility for the Pacific. This Facility had an increased lending ceiling - A$3 billion (US$2.2 billion).

Despite increased ODA activity in the Pacific, Australia’s overall defense spending rose 12 times the amount provided for ODA.

Report – Lowy Institute