New OECD figures

German ODA ratio rises to 0.7 per cent for the first time due to domestic spending on refugees

Press release of 11.04.2017 |

BERLIN – For the first time Germany has reached the target figure of spending 0.7 per cent of its gross national income on official development assistance (ODA). This is as a result of expenditure on refugees that have come to Germany, which counts towards ODA. Altogether, Germany's Federal Government, Länder and local authorities have invested more than 22 billion euros in development activities. This is a rise of 36 per cent in 2016. These figures were published today by the OECD in its preliminary report on Official Development Assistance (ODA). They now make Germany the second largest development donor worldwide.

In response to these figures, German Development Minister Gerd Müller said: "The OECD’s figures show that Germany is meeting its growing international commitments. Having met the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income we now have both the task and the obligation of not only maintaining but even building on this level of engagement. Even when the inflow of refugees to Germany tails off, we will still have to reach the 0.7 per cent target for some time to come. Every euro of our development cooperation funding invested in developing countries directly benefits the people living there, often generating a much greater gain, and helps create a viable option for them to stay in their countries."

The rise in development spending is a result in particular of the increase in official German development assistance abroad as well as in spending on refugees living in Germany. Without the latter, Germany's ODA ratio would be 0.52 per cent. Since the start of the current legislative term in 2013, the budget of the German Development Ministry has risen by more than a quarter, from 6.3 billion euros to 8.5 billion euros.

The challenges and crises in the world today mean that development cooperation has to contend with an entirely new dimension. For example, it now needs to deal with creating jobs and giving people prospects for the future in developing countries, while at the same time needing to find ways to protect the climate and prevent or overcome crises and famines.

Every year in April, the OECD issues a list, based on the figures reported by its member states, which ranks donor and beneficiary countries. The final ODA figures are published by the OECD at the end of the year. The ODA target ratio – that is the ratio between development spending and gross national income – was set at 0.7 per cent by the United Nations in 1972.

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