• DAC-CSO Reference Group

The COVID-19 pandemic and related crises call for higher levels of ODA

Available in Spanish and French.


Today, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) announced that over the course of 2020 DAC donors allocated 161.2 billion USD of official development assistance (ODA), more commonly known as ‘development aid’. Despite the long-standing commitment to contribute 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) towards ODA, the 2020 figures show that only 32 cents for every $100 in national income was allocated to addressing global development and humanitarian challenges. Such low ODA levels are both economically unwise and morally flawed, given the current pandemic and interconnected crises, including climate change, conflict, fragility, and rising poverty and inequalities.



COVID-19 is not a fleeting crisis – it has already left a lasting impact on all aspects of our societies, disrupting 25 years of global progress against poverty and inequalities in a matter of months. The world’s most marginalised are disproportionately affected. COVID-19 is pushing an estimated 150 million people into extreme poverty, and 137 million to the brink of starvation, representing an increase of over 80% in acute hunger since before the pandemic began.


Before the pandemic, donors were already off-track to achieve their international aid commitments. The consequences of COVID-19 requires the DAC community to considerably increase its ODA levels. ODA is a vital resource for supporting those most in need to help counter the negative trends coming from the pandemic, compounded by the climate emergency and persisting conflicts and fragility. In 2020, DAC donors prioritised their national responses towards COVID at the expense of international aid. This 2021, a substantial and immediate increase in ODA levels must be the top priority to ensure the achievement of the 2030 Agenda on time. Now is the time to move beyond mainly protecting existing aid budgets as the released figures show.

76 civil society organisations across the world are calling on DAC members to fulfill and exceed the 0.7% target for ODA and the 0.15% to 0.2% target for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), prioritising unconditional grants and technical support. We urge the DAC to work with the experience of partner countries, DAC members and other stakeholders to ramp up the role of aid in support of health, education, social protection, peacebuilding, and conflict prevention in the midst of this unfinished crisis. Furthermore, we call on donors to uphold the integrity of ODA, building on decades of lessons for effective development cooperation, and to uphold human rights and development effectiveness principles.


Media contact :

Matthew Simonds, Global Coordinator DAC-CSO Reference Group: msimonds@csopartnership.org

Mark Pascual, Media Coordinator DAC-CSO Reference Group: mpascual@realityofaid.org


Signed by:


  1. ACEP - Associação para a Cooperação Entre os Povos, Portugal

  2. Act Church of Sweden, Sweden

  3. Act Alliance, Global

  4. ActionAid International, Global

  5. Action Santé Mondiale, France

  6. Aid Watch Canada, Canada

  7. AKÜ - Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation, Estonia

  8. Alliance Sud, Switzerland

  9. Ambrela, Slovakia

  10. AQOCI - Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale, Canada

  11. Bond - the International Development Network, United Kingdom

  12. Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Canada

  13. Canadian Lutheran World Relief, Canada

  14. Care International, Global

  15. Caritas Europa, Regional

  16. CBM – Global Disability Inclusion, Global

  17. CCEDNet - Canadian Community Economic Development Network, Canada

  18. Centre for Research and Advocacy Manipur, India

  19. CNCD-11.11.11 - Centre National de Coopération au Développement, Belgium

  20. Commonwealth Medical Trust, United Kingdom

  21. CONCORD - European NGO confederation for Relief and Development, Regional

  22. CONCORD Sweden, Sweden

  23. Cooperation Canada, Canada

  24. Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada, Canada

  25. Coordinadora de ONGDs - Spain

  26. Coordination Sud, France

  27. Council for People's Development and Governance, Philippines

  28. Cordaid, the Netherlands

  29. CPDE - CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness, Global

  30. Crosol, Croatia

  31. CSPPS - Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding, Global

  32. DemNet, Hungary

  33. Development and Peace — Caritas Canada, Canada

  34. Diakonia, Sweden

  35. EILER - The Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research, Philippines

  36. Eurodad - the European Network on Debt and Development, Regional

  37. Global Citizen, Global

  38. Global Policy Forum, Global

  39. Global Responsibility, Austria

  40. Grandmothers Advocacy Network, Canada

  41. Fingo - Finnish Development NGOs, Finland

  42. ForumCiv, Sweden

  43. FORS - Czech Forum for Development Cooperation, Czech Republic

  44. Ibon Foundation, Philippines

  45. Ibon International, Global

  46. Inter Pares, Canada

  47. Islamic Relief Canada, Canada

  48. JANIC - Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation, Japan

  49. KAIROS - Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, Canada

  50. KOO - Co-ordination Office of the Austrian Bishops’ Conference for International Development and Mission, Austria

  51. McLeod Group, Canada

  52. Nash Vek Public Foundation, Kyrgyzstan

  53. NEADS - North-East Affected Area Development Society, India

  54. ONE, Global

  55. Oxfam International, Global

  56. PIANGO, Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations, Regional

  57. Plataforma ONGD Portuguesa, Portugal

  58. Reality of Aid, Global

  59. Reality of Aid – Africa, Regional

  60. Reality of Aid – Asia and the Pacific, Regional

  61. Rihrdo - Rural Infrastructure and Human Resources Development organisation, Pakistan

  62. RIPESS - Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of Social Solidarity Economy, Global

  63. SOCODEVI, Canada

  64. Swedish Development Partner, Sweden

  65. Taiwan Aid, Taiwan

  66. Tanzania Coalition on Debt and Development, Tanzania

  67. Tearfund, Canada

  68. United Church of Canada, Canada

  69. UPADI - UPA Développement International, Canada

  70. Veterinarians without Borders, Canada

  71. Wemos, the Netherlands

  72. WILPF - Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom - Sweden, Sweden

  73. Women for Water Partnership, the Netherlands

  74. World Accord, Canada

  75. World Vision - EU Representation

  76. 11.11.11, Belgium