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EU development aid EUR 75.5 billion in 2016

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EU development aid EUR 75.5 billion in 2016

ECHO Photo - EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

(BRUSSELS) - The European Union and its Member States have consolidated their place as the world's leading aid donor, with official aid reaching EUR 75 bn in 2016, according to new figures.

The preliminary OECD figures show that Official Development Assistance (ODA) provided by the EU and its Member States increased by 11% increase compared to 2015 levels.

The EU's assistance has increased for the fourth year in a row and reached its highest level to date. In 2016, EU collective ODA represented 0.51% of EU Gross National Income (GNI), having increased from 0.47% in 2015. This is significantly above the 0.21% average of non-EU countries that are members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

The European Union and its Member States have hence again consolidated their place as the world's leading aid donor in 2016.

In 2016, five EU Member States provided 0.7% or more of their Gross National Income (GNI) in Official Development Assistance: Luxembourg (1.00%), Sweden (0.94%), Denmark (0.75%), Germany (0.70%), who has reached the target for the first time, and the United Kingdom (0.70%). Sixteen EU Member States increased their ODA compared to their GNI, while 5 Member States reduced their ODA and 7 remained at the same level as last year. In total, 20 Member States increased their ODA nominally by €10.9 billion, while the decreases in 6 others amounted to €3.4 billion.

In 2016, faced with an unprecedented migration crisis, the EU and its Member States were able to increase both their support to refugees as well as their 'development aid' to developing countries. The overall increase in European Union Official Development Assistance, with €7.6 billion, was greater than the surge in in-donor refugee costs €1.9 billion. Only 25% of the growth of EU Collective ODA between 2015 and 2016 was due to in-country refugee costs, hence, there was growth in ODA, even if these costs are excluded. EU collective ODA excluding in-country refugee costs grew from €59.1 billion in 2015 to €64.8 billion in 2016, constituting a 10% increase.

In-donor refugee costs reported by EU Member States rose from €8.8 billion (or 12.9% of collective EU ODA in 2015) to €10.7 billion (or 14.2% of collective EU ODA in 2016). The increase of EU ODA dedicated to finance in-donor refugee costs reflects the fact that in 2015 and 2016, many EU countries, faced with an unprecedented increase in refugees, provided vital emergency assistance and support to large numbers of refugees within their borders. Most of the related costs can be recorded as ODA only for the first year of a refugee's stay.

2016 Official EU Development Assistance - 
background guide

OECD Press release


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