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Which Countries Are Hitting the United Nations Development Aid Target?


This article is published in collaboration with Statista 

by Florian Zandt


As one of many tools to close the divide between so-called developed and developing countries, the United Nations passed a resolution in 1970 that the member states of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) should strive to pledge 0.7 percent of their gross national product, now gross national income (GNI), to the financial, humanitarian and technological support of countries with fledgling economies. Many of these countries could and still can be found in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. 54 years later, only a fraction of DAC and OECD members are hitting this goal.


According to preliminary figures for 2023 by the OECD, Norway, Luxembourg, Sweden, Germany and Denmark are the only OECD nations above the UN target ratio in 2023. Initially suggested by the Pearson Commission in 1969, this target ratio was bound to be reached and kept at this level by 1980 at the latest. 27 of the 32 DAC members in the OECD still fall short of this goal.


Notably, this development aid definition only includes the grant portion of the given aid. This portion is defined by the OECD as "the amount 'given' by lending below market rates" and not the monetary face value. The latter was used as an indicator before 2018.


The OECD currently lists around 150 countries and regions as developing. In 2023, $224 billion in grant-equivalent official development assistance was disbursed, up six percent compared to the year prior. Most of this aid was spent on bilateral development projects. In-donor refugee costs amounted to $31 billion, while aid to Ukraine stood at $20 billion or nine percent of this past year's total development aid.


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