New aid data: Analysis of trends before and during Covid-19

Development Initiatives (DI) has just published new aid analysis titled New aid data: Analysis of trends before and during Covid-19, which explores the major global trends in aid both before and after the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Key findings:

  • ODA has largely flatlined since 2016, with slight growth in 2019 to US$154.5 billion – but 2020 shows a marked decline in ODA from bilateral donors.
  • ODA grants are shrinking in significance, while ODA loans have continued to grow – a trend that accelerated dramatically in 2020.
  • ODA levels remained steady across individual bilateral donors in 2019 – but the economic effects of the pandemic saw 4 of the 13 bilateral donors analysed report falls in aid of over 40%.
  • Humanitarian ODA saw the largest increase in 2019 by US$5 billion – but 2020 saw a sharp refocusing on health, social protection and other social sectors, particularly from IFIs.
  • ODA primarily targeting gender equality and climate change remained steady, at approximately 5% and 11% respectively, between 2015 and 2019.
  • ODA to LDCs increased in 2019 by 12%, while the distribution across income groupings remained steady – but in 2020 IFIs decreased the proportion of aid commitments to LICs.
  • Targeting of ODA to countries with the highest poverty rates improved in 2019 – with the 12 countries where more than 50% of the population live in extreme poverty seeing a 17% increase from 2018 – but IFIs reduced the proportion of ODA to countries with high extreme poverty rates from 53 to 33% in 2020.

Full report is available here.