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Canada and the OECD-DAC Aid Statistics

Quick overview of comparative aid statistics from the OECD-DAC for 2017. Click on images below to see full page view.

DAC Country

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Key Year-on-Year

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Comparative ODA and
ODA/GNI levels

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Net ODA from OECD-DAC countries reached US$ 146.6 billion in 2017, in current US$ terms. This represents 1.1% increase from the 2016 figures; a significantly smaller year-over-year increase than last year’s figures (an 8.9% increase). However, in real terms, net ODA from OECD-DAC countries decreased by 0.6% in 2017 from its 2016 levels.

Story behind the numbers

The decrease, in real terms, of net ODA can be attributed to the lower levels of in-donor refugee costs incurred by the OECD-DAC donors in 2017.   These costs include money spent inside donor countries for settling refugees, but according to DAC reporting rules can be reported as ‘foreign aid’ (to a large extent the accounting is up to donor discretion).

From 2016 to 2017, spending on in-donor refugee costs by DAC countries decreased by 11.2%.  This decrease is surprising given the 27.5% increase in the 2015 to 2016 year-over-year comparison.  These costs now account for 9.7% of net ODA, down from 11% one year ago.  Italy and Germany led all other major donors by having 31.4% and 24.6% of their respective net ODA figures accounted for by refugee costs.  The United Kingdom is the lowest with 2.7%.

About the data and source

For more, please visit the OECD-DAC aid statistics page. See also, the DAC’s narrative summary.

Download our clean, summary version of the data used above(MSExcel)

Canada in the OECD-DAC (preliminary)

The main objective of this quick preliminary analysis is to reflect on the data from the perspective of where Canada stands relative to OECD-DAC donors.

  • Canada’s aid totalled approx. US$4.09 billion in 2017, if viewed in 2016 prices and exchange rates.
  • This compares with approx. US$3.93 billion in 2016
  • Canada’s ODA, in real terms, increased by 4.1%, 2016 vs 2017
  • Canada’s ODA/gross national income (GNI) ratio now stands at 0.26% — the same as it was in 2016.
  • This puts Canada’s ODA/GNI ratio below the OECD-DAC average of approx. 0.31%.
  • In net ODA volume terms, Canada now ranks as the 9th largest OECD-DAC donor – Canada’s rank has moved up two places since 2016.
  • By comparison, in 2012 Canada ranked the 6th largest OECD-DAC donor, in 2013 Canada ranked 9th, in 2014 Canada’s rank was 10th, and in 2015 Canada’s rank rose back to 9th.
  • Based on the ODA/GNI ratio Canada now ranks 16th among the 29 DAC members, down from 15th in 2016.
  • In 2017, refugee costs composed almost 11% of Canadian ODA.

This is a preliminary analysis of headline figures, which provide only a partial sense of Canada’s wider contribution to international development.

The story behind Canada’s numbers

In 2017, refugee costs continued to increase, growing from 9.9% of net total ODA in 2016 to 10.9% of net ODA.  This is one year after Canada’s share of in-donor refugee costs to net ODA almost doubled from 5% in 2015 to 9.9% in 2016.

The OECD reports that without refugee spending, Canada’s ODA increased by 2.9% in 2017; up from a 9.3% year-over-year decrease in 2016.  Without refugee costs, Canada’s ODA/GNI would have been between 0.23% and 0.24%.

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