Luxembourg an exemplar on providing development aid

Luxembourg is an exemplar when it comes to helping some of the world’s poorest countries, according to recent figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Worldwide, only Norway provides more official development assistance (ODA) as a percentage of gross national income (GNI), at 1.1%.

Luxembourg set aside 1% of GNI for development assistance over the course of 2016.

Only four other countries managed to achieve the United Nations target of providing at least 0.7% of GNI for development aid: Sweden (0.94%), Denmark (0.75%), Germany (0.7%) and the UK (0.7%).

By comparison, the average ODA figure for the OECD Development Assistance Committee’s 29 member countries averaged at just over 0.3%.

According to data collected by the committee, ODA reached a new high of 143 billion dollars (€135 billion) in 2016, a nearly 9% year-on-year increase.

Even stripping out refugee costs, which some countries (not Luxembourg) included in their OAD figures, aid increased by more than 7% over the period.

ODA spent on hosting refugees inside donor countries increase by 27.5% in real terms, while humanitarian aid rose by 8%.

The OECD, however, voiced concern that, despite an overall increase, aid to the least-developed countries fell by 3.9% in real terms from 2015, while aid to Africa fell by 0.5%.

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said: “While governments should be commended for sustaining investment in development during these difficult times, it is unacceptable that – once again – aid to the poorest countries is in decline.

“Recent signals from some donor countries on future aid levels add further cause for concern.”

He added: “Major donor nations have committed to refocus their efforts on the least developed countries. It is now time to turn these commitments into action.”