The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said aid from major industrialised nations is expected to shrink  from 2009 levels and miss an overall target.

It forecast that official development assistance would come to only $US108 billion ($A116.3 billion) in 2010 after $US119.6 billion ($A128.8 billion) in 2009.

By the end of the year, Africa, the OECD said, was likely to have received only $US11 billion ($A11.85 billion) of a $US25 billion ($A26.92 billion) increase in aid promised at a 2005 Group of Eight summit, a pledge that was to be met in 2010.

Slight 2009 increase on 2008

Nevertheless OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria hailed a 0.7 per cent hike in aid last year provided by the 23 members of the organisation’s Development Assistance Committee, which he said came despite ‘fiscal challenges’.

But he cautioned: ‘Aid is less than 1.0 per cent of government spending on average in OECD countries while there is still much effort needed to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

‘This is a vital investment with big returns for the world as a whole.’

The UN Millennium Development Goals call for halving the proportion of people whose income is less than a dollar a day by 2015.

‘A$19.38 billion shortfall on 2005 pledge’

The projected 2010 overall development assistance level, $US108 billion ($A116.3 billion), is based on 2004 prices, according to a baseline adopted by the G8 at the 2005 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland.

The shortfall this year, according to the OECD, would be $US18 billion ($A19.38 billion) against the 2005 pledge, adjusted by the OECD to take account of the recent economic downturn.

‘While most countries have maintained their commitments for 2010, others, including some large donors, have reduced or postponed the pledges they made for 2010,’ the OECD said.

France, Germany and Italy are expected to miss their targets while the Netherlands, Britain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States are likely to meet or surpass theirs, according to OECD estimates.

The United Nations has recommended that rich countries commit 0.7 per cent of their gross national income to development aid, a target Sweden is expected to surpass this year with a commitment of 1.01 per cent, according to the OECD.

Luxembourg, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Britain, Finland, Ireland and Spain are also on track to meet the 0.7 per cent goal.

The United States in 2009, although the largest donor by volume at $US28.7 billion ($A30.91 billion), committed just 0.20 per cent of its gross national income to development assistance.

Only four other countries, Greece, Italy, Japan and South Korea, had a weaker showing.

Total development aid from world’s leading industrialised nations last year came to $US119.6 billion ($A128.8 billion), a rise of 0.7 per cent in real terms.

Excluding volatile debt relief, the gain was 6.8 per cent, the OECD said.

Five countries, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden exceeded the target 0.7 per cent of gross national income in 2009.


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