Aid Data 2019–2020: Analysis of Trends Before and During Covid

Development Initiatives
Date published
08 Feb 2021
Research, reports and studies
Development & humanitarian aid, COVID-19, Epidemics & pandemics, Funding and donors, humanitarian action, Social protection, Response and recovery

This briefing looks at trends in aid from the OECD DAC’s full release of official development assistance (ODA) data for 2019, which tells us what was happening to aid right before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. These trends are contextualised with the most recent IATI data (January to November 2020), which tells us how these trends have shifted in 2020 as the impacts of the coronavirus crisis unfold.

With the economic and health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic compounding worrying trends in aid, the world faces an unprecedented challenge and one that will have serious development effects. The pandemic has exacerbated existing concerns about the economic outlook both globally and for developing countries specifically.

The first section of this briefing provides analysis of the major global trends in aid which show both a historic flatlining of ODA growth followed by a sharp decline in aid as the crisis hit. This section also looks at the shifting balance of aid from grants to loans, despite the concerns of a growing debt crisis. In section two, the briefing then looks at developments in individual donor countries and how aid from international financial institutions (IFIs) and multilateral organisations has evolved into 2020. Section three assesses changes in the sector allocation and policy focus of aid – looking at allocation to vital areas including health, humanitarian response, gender equality and climate change. Finally, section four assesses the targeting of ODA, including allocations to LDCs, as well breakdown by country poverty and income levels.

Development Initiatives