A New Year with New ODA Statistics

Every year OECD publishes the Development and Co-operation Report which, in addition to providing trends on numerous aid related topics,  puts out a plethora of aid statistics. While the full report does not surface until April, the statistical annexes are already available for public viewing pleasure.  Among the many tables, CGP focuses specifically on Table 13 of this annex, which covers ODA and other financial flows for 2009.  Below are a few things worthy of note:

  • Korea! That’s right Korea is now an aid donor, contributing a total of $816 million in ODA to the DAC recipient nations.  With Korea, the DAC is now composed of 23 countries.
  • Total ODA from all donors remained essentially stable at $120 billion, as compared to $122 in 2008. Strangely, while net ODA decreased by a small margin, ODA as a percentage of GNI rose by fraction, indicating an overall decrease in GNI of the DAC donors due to slumping economic conditions.
  • The U.S. is no longer tied for last! While in 2008, U.S. ODA as a percentage of GNI was 0.19%, ranking the U.S. last with Japan. This year, U.S. comes ahead of Korea, Italy, Japan, and Greece. In terms of net ODA, U.S. still comes on top with $28.8 billion, a $2 billion increase from the year prior.
  • Although ODA may not have changed drastically, private flows at market terms increased by roughly $100 billion, amounting to $228 billion in 2009. In 2008, U.S. reported negative values  due to the pulling out of bilateral portfolio investment from developing countries. In 2009, this value is once again positive. Direct investment from all donors has decreased marginally, from $187 billion in 2008 to $159 billion in 2009.
  • Lastly, according to the numbers published by the OECD, grants by private voluntary organization, or the philanthropy figure reported by the organization, indicates that in 2009 the U.S. gave $16 billion in private contributions to international development causes. CGP has long proclaimed that the philanthropy figures reported by the OECD are grossly underestimated and inaccurate. For instance, for 2008, the OECD reported $17 billion in private contributions from the U.S., while CGP found a whopping $37 billion. Although CGP is still in the process of data collection for its 2009 philanthropy figure, based on results from previous years, we predict that the $16 billion figure reported for 2009 is likely to be once again an underestimate.  The spring publication of the 2011 Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances will provide a more accurate value of how much Americans give to international development causes.

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