Written by Michele Wheat
What is foreign aid? The most basic foreign aid definition states that it is “resources given from one country to another.” These resources include money, materials, and manpower that are donated to developing countries around the world. Foreign aid is offered to help with emergency preparedness, disaster relief, economic development, and poverty reduction. The Development Assistance Committee, made up of 30 major donors, was created to oversee and discuss issues surrounding foreign aid; specifically focusing on humanitarian aid and economic development. The chart below ranks these 30 donors by how much foreign aid assistance they gave in 2017 and shows the top ten developing countries that were on the receiving end of their aid.
The Development Assistance Committee, made up of 30 major donors, was created to oversee and discuss issues surrounding foreign aid; specifically focusing on humanitarian aid and economic development. The chart below ranks these 30 donors by how much foreign aid assistance they gave in 2017 and shows the top ten developing countries that were on the receiving end of their aid.
Click image below to view full-size infographic
Development Assistance Committee (DAC) members provide government aid that promotes and specifically targets the economic development and welfare of developing countries.
Here is an excerpt from the Development Assistance Committee Mandate:
"The overarching objective of the DAC for the period 2018-2022 is to promote development co-operation and other relevant policies so as to contribute to implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, poverty eradication, improvement of living standards in developing countries, and to a future in which no country will depend on aid."
What Country Gives the Most Aid?
The United States is the top donor country on the Developmental Assistance Committee (DAC), contributing almost $35 billion to foreign aid in 2017. This donation amounted to 0.18% of the country’s Gross National Income (GNI), far below the official development assistance target of 0.70% GNI.
Out of the 30 major donor countries that make up the DAC, only five of them met the 0.70% target in 2017. These five countries were Sweden with 1.02%, Luxembourg with 1.00%, Norway with 0.99%, Denmark with 0.74%, and the United Kingdom with 0.70%. Germany slipped just under the threshold with 0.67% of their GNI donated.
DAC Members’ Foreign Aid Donations
- United States: $34.73 billion
- Germany: $25.01 billion
- United Kingdom: $18.10 billion
- European Union: $16.44 billion
- Japan: $11.46 billion
- France: $11.33 billion
- Italy: $5.86 billion
- Sweden: $5.56 billion
- Netherlands: $4.96 billion
- Canada: $4.30 billion
- Norway: $4.12 billion
- Switzerland: $3.14 billion
- Australia: $3.04 billion
- Spain: $2.56 billion
- Denmark: $2.45 billion
- South Korea: $2.20 billion
- Belgium: $2.20 billion
- Austria: $1.25 billion
- Finland: $1.08 billion
- Ireland: $840 million
- Poland: $680 million
- New Zealand: $450 million
- Luxembourg: $420 million
- Portugal: $380 million
- Greece: $310 million
- Czech Republic: $300 million
- Hungary: $150 million
- Slovak Republic: $120 million
- Slovenia: $80 million
- Iceland: $70 million
What Country Receives the Most Aid?
The country that received the most foreign aid is India, which got more than $4.2 billion in aid from the DAC members in 2017. Turkey was a close second with $4.1 billion in aid received.
The total amount of aid donated in 2017 by the 30 DAC members to developing countries reached a high of $163.6 billion.
Top 10 Recipients of Foreign Aid From DAC Members
- India: $4.21 billion
- Turkey: $4.10 billion
- Afghanistan: $2.95 billion
- Syria: $2.77 billion
- Ethiopia: $1.94 billion
- Bangladesh: $1.81 billion
- Morocco: $1.74 billion
- Vietnam: $1.61 billion
- Iraq: $1.60 billion
- Indonesia: $1.48 billion
This is not an exhaustive list of all of the humanitarian aid contributions made in 2017: The 30 major donors that make up the DAC have to report their annual foreign aid donations, while non-DAC countries can choose not to report theirs. The OECD estimates other countries’ annual contributions based on the previous year.