The European Union has kept its place as the world’s largest aid donor in 2014, according to statistics published today by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Who compiles the statistics?
The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) is the ultimate authority that decides if expenditure reported to it (by member states or other donors) qualifies as Official Development Assistance (ODA). The DAC has 29 members: Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, USA, 19 EU Member States and the EU.
Two EU Member States (i.e. Estonia and Hungary) are non-DAC OECD members, while another seven (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Romania) are neither OECD nor DAC members.
How are the numbers compiled?
The Commission presents individual data on all EU Member States, including on those whose data are not available through DAC. Otherwise the data published by the OECD and by the Commission are identical. The EU uses the same current price figures as presented by DAC in the publication of preliminary figures for 2014, reconverted from USD to EUR using the DAC exchange rate.
There are two differences in analysing the changes in ODA volumes:
The Commission presents and analyses data in Euro values, while the DAC uses US Dollars. This exchange rate difference in evaluation applies for both global figures and individual Member States.
The Commission uses values in nominal terms (current prices) for presenting changes. The DAC presents data both in constant prices and nominal terms, but calculates changes only in constant prices and exchange rates.
ODA to GNI ratios are not affected by the above differences.
In addition to the EU28 ODA presented by the DAC, the Commission also presents the EU collective ODA, which is a sum of the ODA reported by the EU Member States and the additional ODA provided by the EU institutions. Most of the EU institutions' ODA spending is, for the purposes of ODA/GNI reporting, imputed to EU Member States, i.e. Member States data include part of the institutions' spending. The ODA provided through European Investment Bank (EIB) own resources is not imputed to Member States and is additional to the Member States’ ODA.
What do the statistics show?
The total aid of the 28 EU Member States alone rose from €54.0 billion in 2013 to €56.1 billion in 2014, remaining at 0.41% of GNI. Additional ODA from the own resources of the European Investment Bank contributes to the collective EU amount, bringing it to €58.2 billion.
Almost all EU Member States reported their 2014 ODA levels using a new methodology for calculating their GNI. This resulted in an increase in GNI levels for those Member States, resulting in a relative decline in their ODA/GNI levels, despite an overall increase in EU collective ODA of almost 2.4%. Without this change in GNI methodology, EU collective ODA in 2014 would have reached 0.44% of EU GNI.
Why is the data preliminary?
The data presented is based on information that OECD and Commission have received from Member States in recent weeks. Additional information on the details of funds and programmes for 2014 will be reported to and checked by DAC over the course of 2015. Final 2014 ODA figures with detailed breakdown should be published by OECD DAC in December 2015.
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