Official development assistance (i79)

In 2021, the Belgian official development assistance amounted to 0.43% of gross national income. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must be increased to 0.7%. This objective will not be reached by continuing the trend since 2000 (data available in April 2023). Official development assistance is therefore developing unfavourably.

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Official development assistance - Belgium - trend assessment

percentage of gross national income

trend and extrapolation (April 2023)0.400.480.510.470.440.430.410.40

2018: break in time series

OECD (2022), OECD.Stat, Theme: Development > Flows by Provider > Total flows by donor (ODA+OOF+Private) [DAC1], (updated 15/12/2022, consulted 06/03/2023); calculations FPB.

Official development assistance - Belgium and international comparison

percentage of gross national income

OECD DAC0.320.220.320.310.300.320.330.330.100.621.95
//: Average Growth Rates

2018: break in time series

OECD (2022), OECD.Stat, Theme: Development > Flows by Provider > Total flows by donor (ODA+OOF+Private) [DAC1], (updated 15/12/2022, consulted 06/03/2023); Eurostat (2023), Official development assistance as share of gross national income [sdg_17_10], (updated 24/01/2023, consulted 06/03/2023); calculations FPB.

Definition: official development assistance (ODA) consists of grants and loans at concessional financial terms provided by the official sector to developing countries and with economic development and welfare as the main objective. The ODA comprises both financial flows and the so-called technical assistance. Some contributions to international institutions are also covered by the ODA. This indicator is expressed as a percentage of the gross national income. The statistics on development assistance are compiled according to the rules of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The data for Belgium and the DAC countries come from the OECD and those for the EU27 from Eurostat.

Goal: spend 0.7 per cent of the gross national income on official development assistance.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include target 17.2: "Developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries; ODA providers are encouraged to consider setting a target to provide at least 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries".

In Belgium the quantitative target of 0.7 per cent is stated in the Act of 19 March 2013 on Belgian development cooperation (Belgian Official Gazette 12/04/2013, article 9). The 2020 government agreement announces a binding growth path to reach the 0.7 per cent by 2030 (Federal government, 2020, p. 96).

International comparison: in 2021, Belgium ranks 11th out of 29 DAC countries and performs better than the DAC average. Five countries have reached the 0.7% target: Luxemburg, Norway, Sweden, Germany and Denmark. The total ODA of the DAC countries was 186 billion US dollars during that year or 0.33% of their total GNI. Almost half of the DAC assistance comes from the EU Member States: in 2021 that was 45% of the total. In absolute figures the United States was the largest donor, followed by Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and France, while Belgium ranked 16th. Since 1990 the Belgian ODA in per cent of the GNI remains higher than the DAC average.

As well as Belgium, 18 other EU countries and also the EU institutions are members of the DAC; 8 EU countries are not. Eurostat publishes official development assistance data for all 27 EU countries. From 2000 until 2014, Belgium performed better than the EU27 average; from 2015 on, both are almost equal. When EU countries are divided into three groups, Belgium, with 0.43%, is part of the best performers in 2021, but it lays behind the EU average of 0.49%. In that year, Luxemburg ranked first with 0.99% and Cyprus last with 0.07%.

UN indicator: the selected indicator corresponds to 17.2.1 - Net official development assistance, total and to least developed countries, as a proportion of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee donors’ gross national income (GNI).


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