Public Development Aid (ODA) in Portugal fell 10.6% last year compared to 2019, driven by lower contributions to multilateral organizations, according to data released Tuesday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
According to preliminary data for 2020 from the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), released today in Paris, Portugal has allocated about $ 385 million for public development assistance (about € 323 million), against $ 410 million (about 345 Million Euros) for 2019.
The aid data includes $ 10 million (8.37 million euros) in refugee costs in Portugal, compared to the $ 8 million (6.7 million euros) earmarked for this purpose in 2019.
This figure represents 0.17% of Gross National Income (GNI), which is lower than the commitment made by CAD / OECD members to allocate 0.70% of GNI to official development assistance, but higher than the 0.16% recorded last year.
One million dollars has been allocated for activities directly related to the Covid-19 epidemic, especially in the health sector.
Thus, Portugal is among the 13 countries that recorded the largest decline in ODA in 2020, a group that also includes Greece (-36%), the Czech Republic (-5.2%) and Italy (-7.1%).
Portuguese development financing actually decreased by 5.4% in 2019 compared to the previous year.
In the month period, Portugal (143%) was one of the countries with the highest increases, in real terms, in sovereign loans, along with Germany (69%), France (63%), Italy (55%) and Japan (11%).
Overall, in 2020, total public development assistance (ODA) for the 29 member states of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) amounted to $ 161.2 billion (€ 135 billion), which is 0.32% of gross national income (GNI).
The numbers represent a 3.5% increase in aid compared to 2019, reaching, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, “an all-time high”.
In 2020, total country aid as a percentage of GNI is 0.32%, compared to 0.30% in 2019.
The organization said: “This increase is due to the support of the DAC members to achieve a comprehensive global recovery in the context of the epidemic and the increase in bilateral sovereign loans by some countries.”
According to preliminary estimates, countries spent $ 12 billion (€ 10 billion) in 2020 on activities related to COVID-19, while EU institutions donated $ 9 billion (€ 7.5 billion).
The United States remains the largest donor ($ 35.5 billion), followed by Germany ($ 28.4 billion), the United Kingdom ($ 18.6 billion), Japan ($ 16.3 billion) and France ($ 14.1 billion).
Many countries have reached or exceeded the United Nations (UN) target of 0.7% for the ODA / GNI ratio, which are Germany (0.73%), Denmark (0.73%), Luxembourg (1.02%), Norway (1.11%), the United Kingdom (0.70%) ) And Sweden (1.14%).
Refugee costs in donor countries were $ 9.0 billion in 2020 (€ 7.54 billion), down 9.5% in real terms compared to 2019.
Refugee costs account for more than 10% of total ODA for countries such as Canada, Iceland and the Netherlands, and more than 8% for Germany, France and Switzerland.
Aid has grown in 16 countries, some of which have significantly increased their budgets to support developing countries in the face of the pandemic, with “significant increases” recorded in Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Hungary, Norway, the Slovak Republic, Sweden and Switzerland.
On the other hand, it decreased in 13 countries, with the largest decreases, in addition to Portugal, in Australia, Greece, Italy, Korea, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom.
Donors from the world’s seven largest economies (G7) were responsible for 76% of total public development aid and the total of the European Union countries that make up the DAC was 45%.
Aid from the 19 European Union countries that make up the Development Assistance Committee reached US $ 72.7 billion (€ 60.9 billion), an increase of 7.8% in real terms compared to 2019 and equivalent to 0.50% of combined gross national income.
Bilateral aid to Africa and the least developed countries increased by 4.1% and 1.8%, respectively, and humanitarian aid by 6%.
Short-term support to help in the COVID-19 crisis focused on health systems, humanitarian aid and food security, according to an OECD survey.
The donors indicated that in the medium term, they would focus on providing diagnostics and vaccines to countries in need, as well as providing support to address the economic and social repercussions of the epidemic.
Early in the pandemic, DAC donors said they would strive to protect volumes of official development assistance. I am grateful and proud to say that they did and so much more. ”CAD Chair Susanna Moorehead said.
“Donor countries have sought to support developing countries that are grappling with the health and economic consequences of the Covid-19 virus, even when their economies and societies have been affected,” he added.
The OECD official warned that “the next few years will be difficult” and that financing ODA is more necessary than ever.