Share article:
Share article:

Belgian development aid down in 2017

© Belga
© Belga

Belgian official development assistance (ODA) went down from 0.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 to 0.45% in 2017, according to data published on Monday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The Belgian rate is above the average for member countries of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) – 0.31% of GDP – but lower than the 0.7% target set by the United Nations.

Generally, development assistance amounted to $146.6 billion in 2017, a drop of 0.6% in real terms from 2016. This was due in part to less spending on refugees by donor countries and increased contributions to countries that need aid the most, the OECD explained.

After sliding downward for many years, bilateral aid to least developed countries (LDCs) went up by 4% in real terms, totaling $26 billion. OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria commented that while it was encouraging to note that more resources were going to the countries that needed them most, that was still not enough and too many donors were still far from the 0.7% target. He added that donor countries should use the current period of economic growth to intensify their efforts.

Belgium’s ODA went from US$2.3 billion in 2016 to $2.11 billion in 2017. This amount is insufficient, representing a cumulative drop of 30% since 2010, according to the CNCD-11.11.11 organization.

“This is all the more worrisome since Belgium is one of the nine OECD countries where more than 10% of the assistance goes to hosting asylum seekers,” the organization commented. “Despite a slight drop from 2016 to 2017, the cost of hosting asylum seekers in Belgium represented more than 14% of Belgian aid in 2017. Thus, Belgium was still the main beneficiary of its own development assistance in 2017.”

Only five members of the DAC attained the target of keeping ODA at 0.7% of GDP or higher in 2017. They were the United Kingdom (0.7%), Denmark (0.72%), Norway (0.99%), Luxembourg (1.0%) and Sweden (1.01%).

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...
Warnings issued for slippery roads across Belgium
Drivers have been asked to watch out for slippery roads from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening, as snow and cold temperatures are expected ...
Testing rules following high-risk contact eased for vaccinated people
The coronavirus testing policy following a high-risk contact has been eased, meaning a vaccinated person who was in contact with an infected person ...
New measures announced for Belgian schools
Stricter rules are being implemented across a variety of sectors in Belgium to curb the rising number of infections and limit the damage as a result ...
Majority of booster doses should be administered by March 2022
Invitations will be sent out in the following days for the general population in Belgium to receive a coronavirus booster vaccine, and most adults ...
Belgium adopts national plan to combat gender-based violence
Belgium has adopted a National Action plan for the Fight against Gender-Based Violence, which includes more than 200 measures and unites all levels ...
Antwerp cancels Christmas market and New Year’s Eve fireworks
The city of Antwerp has joined other cities including Leuven and Ghent by announcing it is cancelling this year's Christmas market, the end-of-year ...
Pharmaceutical companies looking into vaccines against new variant
Pharmaceutical companies have sprung into action to look into vaccine protection against the new coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa, ...
Belgium imposes entry ban on travellers from southern Africa
Belgium is introducing an entry ban for travellers from several countries in the south of Africa following concerns about a new variant (B.1.1.529) ...
What Ursula did next
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES • Weekly analysis and untold stories
Nightclub closures, limiting contacts: These rules come into force today
Just over one week after its last meeting, Belgium's Consultative Committee on Friday once again announced a set of new measures to curb the rising ...
Almost 3,500 Covid-19 patients in hospitals as new cases continue to skyrocket
The number of new coronavirus cases in Belgium is continuing to rise, and with it the number of Covid-19 patients who are hospitalised as a result of ...