The official development assistance provided by the European Union and member states reached 75.5 billion EUR in 2016, which is their highest level in history. This was announced by the European Commission on Tuesday, citing preliminary data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The amount is 11% higher compared to the level of 2015. The levels of financial support from the EU increased for the fourth consecutive year.
Total official development assistance to the EU in 2016 represents 0.51% of gross national income (GNI) in the EU. For comparison, in 2015 it was 0.47%. The level is well above the average rate of 0.21% for countries that are not members of the EU Commission development aid.
“I am proud that the EU remains the leading provider of official development assistance in the world – a clear demonstration of our commitment to sustainable development goals of the United Nations”, said European Commissioner for international cooperation and development, Neven Mimica. “We call on all development participants to redouble their efforts to achieve the same. And we should not stop there. Supporting private sector investment, helping to mobilize local resources and strengthening joint efforts with the EU Member States, we try to make the most of financial resources for development”, added he.
Last year there were five EU member states which provided at least 0.7% of their gross national income to development aid. First is Luxembourg by 1% (or 347 million EUR), followed by Sweden with 0.94% (4.4 billion EUR) and Denmark with 0.75% (2.14 billion EUR). Although it ranks fourth as a percentage of gross national income (0.7%) in the amount Germany is the leader with 22.3 billion EUR. Like her UK has the second highest amount granted – 16.2 billion EUR, but fifth in percentage of gross national income (0.7%).
Near the bottom in terms of the share of gross national income is Bulgaria (0.09%), the country has provided 37 million EUR in development aid – a percentage that does not tolerate change since 2010 (except 2012 when 0.08%). After Bulgaria, as a percentage of GNI is only Croatia by 0.07%, but the amount over 37 million EUR. Only 16 million EUR has managed to set aside Cyprus, which equates to 0.09% of its income.
Sixteen EU Member States have increased their development assistance, as a percentage of GNI, while five have it reduced – Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Croatia.
In 2016, faced with unprecedented migration crisis, the EU and member states have managed to increase their support for refugees and its development aid to developing countries.