International aid hits record high, Belgian aid stagnates

International aid from official donors rose to an all-time high in 2023, according to a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Provider countries increased aid flows to Ukraine and directed more humanitarian assistance to developing countries. Meanwhile, the aid provided by Belgium dropped.

The OECD report says that 208.7 billion euros was spent on development aid in the world last year, 1.8 per cent more than a year earlier. In total, aid in 2023 was up by a third compared to 2019, reflecting the additional aid provided since. Most aid was related to the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. 

Overall, donor countries together contributed 0.37 per cent of their wealth to development assistance, far below the long-standing UN target of 0.7 per cent. Belgium also failed to meet the international commitment. Belgian aid stagnated at 2.6 billion euros, or 0.44 per cent of gross national income, down from 0.45 per cent in 2022. Only five of the 31 participating countries met the international target: Denmark (0.74 per cent), Germany (0.79 per cent), Luxembourg (0.99 per cent), Norway (1.09 per cent) and Sweden (0.91 per cent). 

In 2023, aid to Ukraine rose 9 per cent to 18.6 billion euros. Of this, almost 3 billion euros was humanitarian aid. Aid to the West Bank and Gaza rose 12 per cent to 1.3 billion euros, of which 707 million euros (+91 per cent) was humanitarian aid.


OECD secretary Mathias Cormann at a press conference in 2022 ​ © BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM

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