PARIS - Aid figures released by a grouping of rich
have belied the widespread view that world's poorer nations will
economic growth in the industrialised countries.
The countries of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America got
dollars last year in official development assistance (ODA), down
billion dollars they received in 1999 .
A special committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation
Development (OECD) said, despite a strong overall growth last
year, aid as a
proportion of the 23-member DAC's combined GNP had declined from
in 1999 to 0.22 percent, thus returning to the 1997 level.
The members of the Development Assistance Committee are:
Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece,
Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal,
Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and the
The ODA/GNP ratio last year was in stark contrast to the United
of 0.7 percent adopted by the world body's General Assembly in
then, only a handful of countries have achieved the goal. These,
the OECD said
in a news release were: Denmark (1.06 percent), Netherlands ((0.82
Sweden (0.81 percent), Norway (0.80 percent) and Luxembourg (0.7
Also known as the rich nations' club, the OECD said that ODA by
of the Development Assistance Committee in real terms had fallen
2000 - by 1.6 percent''. In current prices and exchange rates, the
ODA flows registered a fall of 6.0 percent.
''But most of this drop was due to lower exchange rates for most
against the United States dollar,'' the OECD said.
Explaining the decline in ODA, the OECD said, two special factors
responsible. One of these was a change in the list of countries
receive ODA. Adjusting for these changes, total ODA fell by just
constant prices and exchange rates.
Another highlight of 2000: Japan's aid was 2.3 billion dollars
lower than in
1999, when it included exceptional contributions to the Asian
in the wake of the Asian financial crisis.
The OECD pointed out that 15 of the DAC member countries reported
a rise in
in real terms in 2000. For 12 of these, the increase in ODA
outpaced their economic growth.
Luxembourg reached for the first time, the United Nations' 0.7
for ODA as a proportion of GNP, joining Denmark, which reached its
ODA/GNP ratio ever recorded, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden
surpass this target.
No other countries exceeded the average country effort of 0.39
percent of GNP.
Aid from the United Kingdom rose by 35.6 percent in real terms,
compensating for the 10.6 percent fall last year, with the rebound
due to the
timing of its multilateral contributions and its commitment to an
budget for aid. Belgium (21.7 percent), Greece (28.7 percent), the
(10.0 percent) and Sweden (22.3 percent) also increased their aid
Aid disbursements by the European Commission rose in real terms by
Total aid from the non-G7 DAC countries increased by 8.3 percent
in real terms
and accounted for 26 percent of DAC members' ODA, compared with
percent share of DAC GNP.
Total aid from G7 countries - Britain, France, Germany, Italy,
United States and Canada - fell by 4.8 percent in real terms,
because of the
exceptional fall in Japan's aid, combined with a fall in aid from
According to the OECD, the decline in French aid was due mainly to
that aid to French Polynesia and New Caledonia is no longer
counted as ODA,
a fall in aid from Italy, due to the timing of its payments to
Among the other G7 countries, Germany's ODA was up from 0.26
percent to 0.27
percent, Canada's fell slightly.
OECD published the aid figures two days ahead of a meeting of the
25-26 in Paris.
Last Friday, the OECD pointed out that one person in five across
still lives on less than one dollar a day despite the economic
boom or rapid
growth in many parts of the world.
Poverty reduction will, therefore, top the agenda, according to
in Paris and the German Ministry of Economic Co-operation and
Bonn. Known as a High Level Meeting of the DAC, it will also
coherence of their policies impacting on developing countries.
Another important issue on which the DAC members have until now
a consensus is untying aid to the developing nations in order to
buy machinery and equipment in a country other than the one