What’s New May 2008

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2007’s overseas development assistance (ODA) aid volume was lower than 2006’s, but this was predicted because the previous year included massive items such as debt relief for Iraq and Nigeria. Nonetheless, despite the lower volume, it was still one of the highest amounts ever. Unfortunately, the updated figures from the OECD show that aid is still far less than what countries have promised. Despite the small increase in non-debt relief aid, donor countries are not on track to meet their recently stated agreements. But they have also been way off their stated target set back in 1970 when rich countries had promised to give 0.7% of GNI each year in aid. Almost all have failed to do so. Furthermore, when aid is given, not only has it been short on volume, but the quality and effectiveness have also been questioned. New and updated graphs, images, and data were added to this section.

Since 1970, when rich countries agreed to give 0.7% of gross national income in aid to poorer countries to assist their development, hardly any have ever done so. The last three years are regarded as some of the highest levels of aid since, but only amount to approximately 0.3% of GNI. Calculating the accumulated shortfall since 1970 reveals a huge aid shortfall of $3.3 trillion, while $2.4 trillion has been given. Even though it is a large amount, most of it does not go to the poorest countries. For example, since 1970, on average, Sub-Saharan Africa has received about 25% of actual ODA. Even the aid that is given now includes fancy accounting and inclusion of items not originally intended to be counted as development assistance aid, such as debt relief and emergency aid.

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