ODA from Major Economies Stable at $135 Billion

oda figures 2014
April 8, 2015 – Aid from the 29 members of the OECD’s Development Assistant Committee totaled $135 billion in 2014, on par with the previous year which set a record for overseas development assistance.

The members of DAC, which consist of most EU countries as well as Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland and the United States, gave the bulk of the assistance to sub-Saharan African countries ($39 billion) followed by South and Central Asia ($23 billion), and Far and East Asia ($12 billion).

Aid to the Middle East, where the conflict in Syria has left 12 million people in need, totaled $11.7 billion in 2014.

The top DAC donors last year were the United States, $32 billion, United Kingdom, $19 billion, Germany, $16 billion, France, $10 billion, and Japan, $9 billion.

Five of the countries exceeded the 0.7 percent of GDP UN target for ODA: Sweden, 1.1 percent; Luxembourg, 1.07 percent; Norway, 0.99 percent, Denmark, 0.85 percent and the UK, 0.71 percent. (see charts)

G7 countries contributed a total of 0.27 percent of their GDP with Japan and the United States both contributing 0.19 percent of their GDP to ODA. Non-G7 countries contributed 0.37 percent of their GDP to ODA.

The OECD report showed that aid to the world’s least developed countries dropped 16 percent this year to $25 billion.

– Denis Fitzgerald
On Twitter @denisfitz

Child Mortality Highest in Sierra Leone

Jan. 30, 2014 – More children are living beyond school age than ever before but child mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa remain high with almost 10 percent of children dying before their fifth birthday.

The under-5 mortality rate globally has decreased from 75 deaths for every 1,000 children born in 2000 to 48 deaths for every 1,000 children born in 2012, according to UNICEF’s 2014 State of the World’s Children in Numbers report. This progress is still not enough to meet MDG4 which calls for a two-thirds reduction by 2015.

Sierra Leone has the world’s highest under-5 mortality rate with 198 deaths of children under-5 for every 1,000 children born. Angola, Chad, Somalia and Democratic Republic of the Congo all have rates of about 150 deaths for every 1,000 children while sub-Saharan Africa as a whole has a rate of 98/1000.

India (56/1000) and Nigeria (124/1000) account for more than one-third of all under-5 child deaths globally.

The under-5 mortality rate is considered a principal indicator of a country’s development as it is the result of a number of factors including the health of mothers, the level of immunization, availability of maternal and child health services, income and food availability, availability of clean water and safe sanitation and the overall safety of the child’s environment.

The countries with the highest rate of under-5 child mortality are:

1. Sierra Leone 182 (deaths before the age of five for every 1,000 children born)
2. Angola 164
3. Chad 150
4. Somalia 147
5. Democratic Republic of the Congo 146
6. Central African Republic 129
7. Guinea-Bissau 129
8. Mali 128
9. Nigeria 124
10. Niger 114

Other countries with high child mortality include Afghanistan (99/1000), Pakistan (86/1000) , Haiti  (76/1000) and Bangladesh (41/1000).

The 2014 State of the World’s Children in Numbers report is here.

– Denis Fitzgerald
On Twitter @denisfitz

Photo: child in Bangladesh receiving polio vaccine/wikimedia

Syria: The War on Development


Oct. 31, 2013 – Syria’s economy has lost more than $103 billion since March 2011 while 2.3 million jobs have been lost and almost half the country’s school-age children are no longer in formal education.

The country’s conflict, which started after government forces used lethal force on peaceful protesters, has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people while an estimated 400,000 more people have been maimed or injured. That’s 2 percent of the population that have been killed, injured or maimed.

These are among the dire statistics in a joint report issued by UNDP and UNRWA this week on the devastating impact of the conflict on Syria’s socio-economic development.

Some 3,000 schools are out of service as a result of damage or destruction while others are housing internally displaced people.

The effect on medical services is particularly acute with the ratio of doctors to serve the population falling from one for every 660 people to one for every 4,400 people.

The World Health Organization earlier this week reported that cases of polio have been confirmed, the first such outbreak since 1999 and that vaccination rates have plummeted from 91 percent in 2010 to 68 percent in 2012.

Some 8 million Syrians have fallen into poverty since the crisis began with more than half of those living in extreme poverty.

“As the formal economy has imploded there has been a growth in informality, rent-seeking 
activities, criminal enterprise and economies of violence that will plague post-conflict economic regulation, reform, equity and development,” the UNDP-UNRWA report says.

The full report is here

– Denis Fitzgerald
On Twitter @denisfitz


Post-2015 Panel Propose 12 Goals to Shape Future Development Agenda

May 30, 2013 – The high-level panel tasked by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to advise him on the post-2015 development agenda has proposed a set of 12 global goals that range from empowering girls and women to ensuring peaceful societies.

The panel’s report, handed over to Ban at UNHQ on Thursday, states that the two main challenges identified in creating the blueprint were how to end poverty and how to promote sustainable development.

The report goes beyond the poverty, health and education focus of the Millennium Development Goals—set to expire in 2015—to include such targets as reducing violent deaths and guaranteeing access to government data as well as doubling the share of renewable energy, ending child marriage, ensuring the equal right of women to own and inherit property, increasing the number of startups, and ensuring people have access to indepedent media.

“The report recognizes peace and good governance as a core foundation for development,” Ban said in remarks to a closed-door briefing to member states earlier on Thursday, according to a transcript provided by his office. “Freedom from fear and violence is essential for building peaceful and prosperous societies.”

He said the report calls for “transformative shifts in our economies and societies” and that sustainability is not simply an environmental issue but one that must be fully integrated into the economic and social spheres.

The report will be debated by various stakeholders at the UN on Friday. Ban will present his own report to the General Assembly in September.

The 12 Goals are:

1. End Poverty
a) Bring the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day to zero and reduce by x% the share of people living below their country’s 2015 national poverty line 
b) Increase by x% the share of women and men, communities and businesses with secure rights to land, property, and other assets
c) Cover x% of people who are poor and vulnerable with social protection systems
d) Build resilience and reduce deaths from natural disasters by x%
(Note: where there is ‘x’ the specific target may be determined by gender, location, age, people living with disabilities, and relevant social groupTargets will only be considered ‘achieved’ if they are met for all relevant income and social groups.)

2. Empower Girls and Women and Achieve Gender Equality
a) Prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against girls and women
b) End child marriage
c) Ensure equal right of women to own and inherit property, sign a contract, register a business and open a bank account 
d) Eliminate discrimination against women in political, economic, and public life

3. Provide Quality Education and Lifelong Learning
a) Increase by x% the proportion of children able to access and complete preprimary education 
b) Ensure every child, regardless of circumstance, completes primary education able to read, write and count well enough to meet minimum learning standards 
c) Ensure every child, regardless of circumstance, has access to lower secondary education and increase the proportion of adolescents who achieve recognized and measurable learning outcomes to x%
d) Increase the number of young and adult women and men with the skills, including technical and vocational, needed for work by x%

4. Ensure Healthy Lives
a) End preventable infant and under-5 deaths
b) Increase by x% the proportion of children, adolescents, at-risk adults and older people that are fully vaccinated
c) Decrease the maternal mortality ratio to no more than x per 100,000 d) Ensure universal sexual and reproductive health and rights
e) Reduce the burden of disease from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases and priority non-communicable diseases

5. Ensure Food Security and Good Nutrition
a) End hunger and protect the right of everyone to have access to sufficient, safe, affordable, and nutritious food
b) Reduce by x% stunting, wasting by y% and anemia by z% for all children under 5 
c) Increase agricultural productivity by x%, with a focus on sustainably increasing smallholder yields and access to irrigation.
d) Adopt sustainable agricultural, ocean, and freshwater fishery practices and rebuild designated fish stocks to sustainable levels 
e) Reduce postharvest loss and food waste by x%

6. Achieve Universal Access to Water and Sanitation
a) Provide universal access to safe drinking water at home and in schools, health centers and refugee camps
b) End open defecation and ensure universal access to sanitation at school and work, and increase access to sanitation at home by x%
c) Bring freshwater withdrawals in line with supply and increase water efficiency in agriculture by x%, industry by y% and urban areas by z%
d) Recycle or treat all municipal and industrial wastewater prior to discharge

7. Secure Sustainable Energy
a) Double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
b) Ensure universal access to modern energy services
c) Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency in buildings, industry, agriculture and transport 
d) Phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption

8. Create Jobs, Sustainable Livelihoods, and Equitable Growth
a) Increase the number of good and decent jobs and livelihoods by x
b) Decrease the number of young people not in education, employment or training by x%
c) Strengthen productive capacity by providing universal access to financial services and infrastructure such as transportation and ICT
d) Increase new start-ups by x and value added from new products by y through creating an enabling business environment and boosting entrepreneurship

9. Manage Natural Resource Assets Sustainably
a) Publish and use economic, social and environmental accounts in all governments and major companies
b) Increase consideration of sustainability in x% of government procurements
c) Safeguard ecosystems, species and genetic diversity
d) Reduce deforestation by x% and increase reforestation by y%
e) Improve soil quality, reduce soil erosion by x tonnes and combat desertification

10. Ensure Good Governance and Effective Institutions
a) Provide free and universal legal identity, such as birth registrations
b) Ensure that people enjoy freedom of speech, association, peaceful protest and access to independent media and information
c) Increase public participation in political processes and civic engagement at all levels
d) Guarantee the public’s right to information and access to government data
e) Reduce bribery and corruption and ensure officials can be held accountable

11. Ensure Stable and Peaceful Societies
a) Reduce violent deaths per 100,000 by x and eliminate all forms of violence against children
b) Ensure justice institutions are accessible, independent, well-resourced and respect due-process rights
c) Stem the external stressors that lead to conflict, including those related to organized crime
d) Enhance the capacity, professionalism and accountability of the security forces, police and judiciary

12. Create a Global Enabling Environment and Catalyze Long-Term Finance
a) Support an open, fair and development-friendly trading system, substantially reducing trade-distorting measures, including agricultural subsidies, while improving market access of developing country products
b) Implement reforms to ensure stability of the global financial system and encourage stable, long-term private foreign investment
c) Hold the increase in global average temperature below 2⁰ C above preindustrial levels, in line with international agreements
d) Developed countries that have not done so to make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7% of gross national product (GNP) as official development assistance to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20% of GNP of developed countries to least developed countries; other countries should move toward voluntary targets for complementary financial assistance
e) Reduce illicit flows and tax evasion and increase stolen-asset recovery by $x
f) Promote collaboration on and access to science, technology, innovation, and development data

Denis Fitzgerald