More aid, more effort

OECD Observer

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Major aid donors have increased their aid efforts, but still have a long way to go if they are to reach the levels they pledged at the UN Financing for Development Conference in Monterrey, Mexico, in 2002, a new OECD report says.

International aid rose significantly in 2002 for the first time in several years, to US$58 billion from US$52 billion in 2001 at current prices and exchange rates, according to the latest edition of the OECD’s annual Development Co-operation Report.

The pledges made in Monterrey are for aid flows to rise to US$75 billion by 2006, the largest increase in aid outlays in the 43-year history of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC), which co-ordinates the development aid policies of the world’s principal aid donors. But attaining this level will depend crucially on future decisions by five major OECD countries – the US (the biggest donor in dollar terms), Germany, the UK, France and Italy – as their funding for 2004 leaves them with a considerable gap to bridge if their commitments are to be met. And even if the 2006 target is reached, aid will still be less than 0.3% of OECD-DAC members’ aggregate gross national income, compared with the UN recommended 0.7%.

Five countries met or surpassed the UN target in 2002: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The report concludes that most of the seven Millennium Development Goals set for achievement by 2015 at the UN millennium summit in 2000 are in danger of being missed for most regions, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa.

©OECD Observer No 242, March 2004

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