THE DEVELOPMENT Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD DAC) has published its preliminary figures on the amount of development aid for 2022. 

The data shows that overall aid spending from 30 OECD members totalled 204 billion US dollars in 2022. Rich countries only committed 0.36 per cent of their gross national income (GNI) to development aid – up from 0.33 perccent in 2021, but far below the 0.7 per cent they promised in 1970. In 2022, just five countries – Luxembourg, Norway, Germany, Sweden and Denmark – lived up to this promise.

The data also shows donor countries mislabelling some expenditure as development aid which is intended to fight poverty in the poorest countries. One example is the cost of hosting refugees. Sweden announced the redirection of nearly one-fifth of its aid budget to fund the reception of refugees from Ukraine. Oxfam says this is not development aid, as it is spent in Sweden.

In response to the new data, Marc Cohen, Oxfam aid expert, said: “In 2022, rich countries pocketed an obscene 14.4 per cent of aid. They robbed the world’s poorest people of a much-needed lifeline in a time of multiple crises.

“Donors have turned their aid pledges into a farce. Not only have they undelivered more than 193 billion dollars, but they also funnelled nearly 30 billion dollars into their own pockets by mislabelling what counts as aid. They continue to inflate their aid budgets by including vaccine donations, the costs of hosting refugees, and by profiting off development aid loans. It is time for a system with teeth to hold them to account and make sure aid goes to the poorest people in the poorest countries.

“There is no room for excuses. We can’t allow rich countries to argue their pockets are empty. Donor governments could raise over a trillion dollars annually through a modest wealth tax alone. The only thing lacking is the political will to put the poorest before the rich.”

* Read the preliminary figures on the amount of development aid for 2022 here.

* Source: Oxfam International