For finance professionals who follow the movements surrounding official development assistance (ODA), last year provided a ray of hope despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), ODA reached an all-time high in 2020 of just over $16bn (£11.6bn), an increase of 3.5% from the previous year, triggered largely by the global response to Covid-19.
“The next few years will be tough and the finance we provide must work harder than ever. If we are going to build forward better and greener, we must focus on the most vulnerable countries and the most vulnerable people in them, especially women and girls,” says Susanna Moorehead, chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee.
The urgency of Moorehead’s point is evidenced by several factors: that continued growth of ODA should not be expected in light of future budget constraints; that Sub-Saharan Africa only received $31bn while the world’s least developed countries received just $34bn; and that the financing gap to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in developing countries generally is calculated to be as high as $4.5trn annually to the year 2030.