Global Inequalities


To what extent does the government demonstrate an active and coherent commitment to promoting equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries?

The government actively and coherently engages in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. It frequently demonstrates initiative and responsibility, and acts as an agenda-setter.
Promoting global social justice is an overarching policy goal for Swedish governments regardless of their ideological orientation. Sweden combines bilateral strategies with an active involvement in multilateral efforts toward those objectives. Additionally, public spending for development issues is comparable high. There has been a gradual shift from conventional aid to developing countries, mainly sub-Saharan countries, toward aid directed at countries that are closer to Sweden. This involves, for instance, promoting democratization and civil society in Eastern Europe. There are growing concerns about the effectiveness and efficiency of some foreign aid programs and the risk of aid being used for unintended purposes by actors in the receiving country. That said, the commitment to international solidarity and aid to developing countries remains very strong.

The 2014 to 2018 red-green government launched a campaign of “feminist foreign policy” which has gained international attention: international solidarity has a gender dimension which has long been ignored. This foreign policy approach has been introduced in various international venues such as the UN and EU. The new government has also become known for showing less tolerance than its predecessors with what it describes as “medieval” punishment techniques employed in Middle East countries, which has caused some diplomatic friction. More broadly, the return of the Social Democrats to government reenergized Swedish foreign policy. It has become more visible, but also more controversial. Whether the complex outcomes of the 2018 elections will impact Sweden’s foreign policy direction remains to be seen.
Aggestam, K. and A. Towns (2018), “The gender turn in diplomacy: A new research agenda,” International Feminist Journal of Politics.

Pierre, Jon (ed) (2015), The Oxford Handbook of Swedish Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press), esp. Section 7.
Assisting developing countries has broad support. Denmark is one of only five countries in the world to contribute more than the U.N. target of 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) to development assistance. Denmark’s development aid in 2017 amounted 0.72% of GNI (0.85% in 2011). Some of the funds have been redirected to address the increasing inflow asylum-seekers. There will be increased focus on the regions in the Middle East and Africa from where many refugees come. Denmark’s humanitarian aid will not be reduced.

In May 2016, 40% of the Danes felt that it was very important to help people in developing countries and 49% felt that it was fairly important. At the time of the great influx of refugees in September 2015, 30% of the Danes supported giving more development aid, 35% the same amount, 28% less. Overall, there is still relatively strong support for development aid in Denmark.

The government’s current development strategy for 2018 prioritizes: increased efforts in areas close to war and conflict; increased focus on migration, including the return of illegal migrants to their home countries; increased development financing by mobilizing private capital; and increased support for multilateral efforts for women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights. About 70% of Denmark’s official development aid (ODA) is bilateral, the remaining 30% is multilateral.
OECD, Development Assistance Committee (DAC), Peer Review Denmark 2011. (Accessed 18 October 2014).

Foreign Ministry, “Øget fokus på nærområderne og den humanitære bistand.”

Regeringens udviklingspolitiske prioriteter 2018, (accessed 21 October 2017).

DIIS, Yearbook 2016. (Accessed 22 October 2016)

OECD, Development Co-operation Report 2018, (Accessed 10 October 2018).
Estonia actively participates in international humanitarian interventions through the European Union and United Nations. A renewed 2016 – 2020 strategy concerning Estonia’s development cooperation and humanitarian aid takes the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as a starting point. The strategy details Estonia’s development objectives and main fields of activity and identifies major partner countries. The priority partners are the former Soviet Socialist Republics of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, as well as Afghanistan. Estonia is active across various fields, although special efforts have focused on transferring knowledge in the policy areas of education, health care and e-government. Estonia is a world leader in the dissemination of domestic expertise in implementing ICT in public administration and education. Estonia actively participates in providing relief to refugees in Syria and emergency assistance to Ukraine.

The total amount of Estonian development cooperation and humanitarian aid, which also take into account the development cooperation activities of other ministries, amounted to €37.9 million in 2017. The largest part (€18.4 million) involves bilateral developmental co-operation, while Estonia’s contribution to the European Union’s budget for the European Commission’s Development Cooperation Program is €16.8 million. Estonia also contributed €4.7 million to the EU African Peace Facility in 2017.

In parallel to government efforts, NGOs and private enterprises work in the field of international development. Awareness-raising campaigns in the fair-trade movement offer one example of NGO activity. Due to the country’s open economic policy and the absence of protectionist measures, fair-trade products can be found in most Estonian supermarkets.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2018). Overview of Estonian Development Cooperation. (accessed 23.10.2018)
At about 1%, the country’s development agency, Luxembourg Development Cooperation (Lux-Development), and accredited NGOs have far surpassed the UN’s industrialized nation contribution target of 0.7% of GDP for development assistance. After Norway (1.11% of GNI), Luxembourg is the second-largest official development assistance (ODA) contributor. The country has focused its development aid policy on poverty eradication and energy saving programs as well as on programs to reduce carbon emissions. The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs manages almost 81% of the total ODA budget, while a remaining 16% is managed by 91 accredited NGOs.

“Le Cercle de Coopération,” the umbrella organization of accredited NGOs, has stated that budgetary rigor will apply to NGO development aid policies in the coming years, reducing national co-financing costs along with NGO administrative costs.
Luxembourg’s development assistance targets local initiatives, providing education and training in the fields of health care, water treatment, sewage, local economic development and infrastructure projects. About 14% of the cooperation budget aims to provide humanitarian support, including emergency assistance and reconstruction aid, following EU and OECD guidelines.

Luxembourg is an important actor in the micro-finance sector, hosting firms that offer a full range of micro-finance products, and supports more than 50% of the global funds in this area.
Annual Report 2016. Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency, 2017. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.
New Zealand
New Zealand is committed to tackling global socioeconomic inequalities. The Commitment to Development Index 2017 (Center for Global Development), which compares 27 of the world’s richest countries on their dedication to policies that benefit people living in poorer nations, ranked the country 10th.
Free access to global markets for developing countries is high on the government’s agenda. Geographically, New Zealand focuses on countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and in the South Pacific, although significant funding is channeled through multilateral and international agencies.
The change of government in October 2017 brought a fresh commitment to multilateralism and to international cooperation among open societies. The new government took steps to shore up aid to Pacific Islands, in order to counter growing Chinese influence in the region. The 2018 budget saw a boost of nearly NZD 1 billion over four years for Foreign Affairs, mainly for development assistance in the Pacific.
New Zealand is one of around 37 countries that take part in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) regular refugee resettlement program. Each year New Zealand resettles 750 refugees – since July 2018: 1,000 – through the Refugee Quota Program. The quota will rise to 1,500 refugees in 2020. The Labour-led government also created a special refugee visa category to resettle Pacific Islanders displaced by climate change. Finally, after some reluctance, New Zealand signed the UNGCM in December 2018. The main opposition, the National party, has opposed New Zealand’s agreement to the UNGCM. Its leader has said that the party would pull the country out of the pact if it comes to power following parliamentary elections due by November 2020.
Aid Statistics – Donor Aid at a Glance: New Zealand: (accessed October 13, 2014).
The Commitment to Development Index 2017. Center for Global Development (
New Zealand Immigration. 2018. New Zealand Refugee Quota Programme.
The government actively engages in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. However, some of its measures or policies lack coherence.
In absolute terms, Germany ranks third among donor countries with respect to the provision of official development assistance. Relative to its gross national income (GNI), Germany ranks seventh among the SGI countries.

The country’s trading system is necessarily aligned with that of its European partners. In trade negotiations within the European Union, Germany tends to defend open-market principals and liberalization. This position is in line with the country’s economic self-interest as a successful global exporter. For agricultural products in particular, the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy still partially shields European farmers from international competition, thus limiting the ability of developing countries to export their agricultural products to Europe. However, Germany has been more open than peers such as France to a liberal approach that would provide greater benefits to developing countries and emerging markets.

In October 2018, the Merkel government started an initiative to strengthen economic developments in Africa. It invited 12 African governments to Berlin and announced an investment fund comprising about €1 billion. The fund is intended to foster economic developments and encourage private investments in the respective countries. It is claimed that the dramatic increase in refugees arriving in Germany since 2015 may have increased the German government’s awareness of the importance of stable social, economic and political conditions in developing countries. This also has a clear budgetary impact: the 2018 draft federal budget proposes to increase the resources of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development by €0.8 billion. In 2019, the ministry’s budget will for the first time total more than €10 billion. The ministry will focus in particular on addressing the drivers of emigration from North Africa, and helping Syria and neighboring countries.
BMZ (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Hilfe und Entwicklung) (2018)
Despite the austerity measures that have been taken to correct the imbalances in public finances, Ireland has maintained its spending on overseas development assistance in the region of 0.5% of GDP since 2008. There is a special focus on countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and on poverty eradication, ending hunger and encouraging gender equality, good governance and human rights.

Ireland has consistently supported an international agenda that advances social inclusion. Its support for a fair global trading system is constrained by the overriding role of the European Union in framing trading policy and to some extent by concerns about domestic self-interest with regard to certain sectors, including farming.
Norway is a leading contributor to bilateral and multilateral development cooperation activities, as well as to international agencies focusing on development issues. Many Norwegian NGOs play a prominent role in international aid. Norway has further strengthened such policies by increasing its spending and promoting specific initiatives (e.g., education for women, the fight against deforestation and the sustainable development of oceans).

Norway’s activities in these areas actively seek to combat poverty, exclusion and discrimination. On the other hand, it maintains a high level of protectionism with respect to the import of agricultural products.

As a response to the increased number of migrants arriving in Europe, the link between development in fragile societies and developments in domestic politics has become firmer. There is a growing awareness of the need for social support measures as part of creating a safe and secure society.
Despite regular objections from politicians, the United Kingdom has been one of the few countries, which has maintained a commitment to devote 0.7% of GNI to foreign aid. In 2017, only Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, Denmark, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Germany did the same. Under the coalition government, this spending was ring-fenced against cuts and the recent spending review has reaffirmed the commitment.

Development assistance spending is coordinated by the Department for International Development, whose work is scrutinized by the newly created Independent Commission for Aid Impact.

In general, the United Kingdom is a proponent of open markets and fair access for developing countries, although an attempt in the late 1990s to espouse an ethical trade policy was subsequently quietly dropped.

However, although the UK government has ring-fenced international development aid, this generosity has not been extended to the millions of refugees who, escaping war and poverty, have arrived in Europe over the last year. The UK government has repeatedly refused to shelter any refugee who had already made it to Europe and was reluctant to take more than a few hundred vulnerable children following the closure of the Calais “jungle.” Instead, the UK government offered to accept 20,000 refugees from camps in Syria over the next five years. Compared to the number of refugees already living in the overcrowded registration and aid facilities of other EU member states, 20,000 is very little. While politically understandable in the context of the EU referendum and the 2017 general election results, this position contrasts sharply to the otherwise generous approach to international aid policy.
Canada’s government has a long history of supporting international efforts to promote socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries, and has shown leadership on critical issues such as nutrition and child health. Canada’s share of official development assistance has declined in relative terms and was only 0.26% of gross national income (GNI) in 2016, ranking 18th in the world. In 2016, the federal government began a review of its existing aid policies, and has now reoriented the majority of international assistance to creating equal opportunities for women and girls in the world’s poorest countries, in line with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

A North-South Institute study makes the case that Canada’s focus on improving aid effectiveness and accountability is insufficient as an overarching guide to promoting development. This is because the focus on aid effectiveness captures only a small part of Canada’s engagement with the developing world. A broader vision that includes aid and non-aid policies is needed in order for Canada to improve the coherence of its development policy and be an effective actor in the international development sphere. In principle, Canada promotes a fair global trading system. In practice, domestic interests are often paramount. For example, the government vigorously defends Canada’s agricultural marketing boards in trade negotiations, even though the removal of the trade barriers related to these boards would give developing countries better access to the Canadian market.
OECD Data, ODA as a percentage of GNI, data obtainable at

OECD, “Gender equality and women’s rights in the post-2015 agenda: A foundation for sustainable development,” posted at

Anni-Claudine Bulles and Sghannon Kindornay (2013) “Beyond Aid: A Plan for Canadian International Cooperation” North-South Institute, May. loads/2013/05/BuellesKindornay.2013.CNDPolicyCoherenceEN.pdf
The Agencia Chilena de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AGCID) under the Ministry for External Relations has been the national agency responsible for international cooperation, South-South and triangular cooperation since 1990. Its current Strategy for the International Development was defined for the period 2015-2018.

While Chile is a member of the OECD, it has only an observer status in the Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

Chile formally follows and promotes the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Agenda (Agenda 2030) and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals in its foreign policies. In practice, those criteria do not necessarily constitute the main emphasis when it comes to decision-making regarding international cooperation with developing countries in the region (Chile cooperates nearly exclusively with Latin American developing and emerging countries). In respect of promoting fair access to global markets, Chile offers virtually no subsidies to domestic producers, and does not maintain protectionist trade barriers to imports.
Agencia Chilena de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AGCID):ÓN_26nov15.pdf
Czechia is not a major player in the international development and devotes a relatively low share of GDP to development aid. However, Czechia has pursued a relatively coherent strategy of development cooperation with a clear focus on countries where its own experience of transition can be helpful. While the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the main coordinator of bilateral and multilateral development cooperation, a large number of private, public and non-governmental actors are extensively involved in the selection of program countries and the identification of priority sectors as well as in on-the-ground activities in partner countries. In addition to long-term programs, there is also humanitarian aid for current crisis areas. Bilateral foreign development cooperation primarily focuses on priority partner countries selected by Czechia on the basis of internationally recognized principles enshrined in the Strategy for Foreign Development Cooperation. The strategy for 2018-2023 sets six priority countries with a cooperation program (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Georgia, Cambodia, Moldova, Zambia). Czechia has also adopted specific humanitarian, stabilization and development cooperation measures through special government resolutions with Afghanistan, Syria and Ukraine. In addition to geographic priorities, Czechia also sets thematic priorities for its foreign development cooperation. For the 2018-2030 period, the thematic priorities set are as follows: agriculture and rural development, sustainable management of natural resources, economic transformation and growth, inclusive social development, sound democratic governance.
Based on international humanitarian law, international human-rights treaties and laws regarding refugees, Finnish humanitarian aid is committed to aid principles as laid down by the OECD Development Assistance Committee. However, due to severe strains in the Finnish economy, the government has been forced to decide and implement considerable reductions in the amount of humanitarian aid. In 2017, Finland spent €961.4 million on development cooperation appropriations, accounting for 0.41% of GNI. In 2015, the share was 0.55% and in 2016 044%. Under the 2018 budget, €886 million is reserved for development cooperation appropriations. Finland emphasizes the primary role of the United Nations in coordinating the provision of aid, and in general channels its funds for humanitarian aid through U.N. organizations. Finland is committed to the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals. In terms of development coordination, such as work to improve the economic and social position of developing countries, Finland’s contributions are implemented through various methods. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs, in conjunction with external consultants, monitor the attainment of goals and the use of funds, and in June 2014 the ministry introduced an online service enabling anybody to report suspected misuse of development-cooperation funds. The overall efficiency of Finnish efforts is not high and the country is not counted among the world’s top aid initiators or agenda-setters. In terms of advancing global social inclusion, Finland is a committed partner rather than a leader.
“Finland’s Development Policy Programme 2012”, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, 6/19/2012;
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland,
France has a long tradition of offering support to poor countries both in terms of financial support and promotion of policies in their favor. However, this should be qualified. First, France is reluctant to consider that free trade is one of the most effective instruments of support. As a consequence, France is often an obstacle to the lowering of tariffs and trade barriers, for instance in agriculture. Second, French aid is concentrated on African countries, where its economic interests have been traditionally strong. The temptation to link aid to imports from the donor country is quite common.

Within the framework of international organizations, France is active but for the above mentioned reasons, its policy preferences are deeply influenced by path dependency, such as colonization and the global network of French-speaking countries.
Lithuania’s government participates in international efforts to promote socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries through its development-aid policy. Lithuania provides development aid to Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, as well as Afghanistan (where it is involved in the civilian-military mission) through its own development-aid and democracy-support program, as well as through the European Development Fund, to which it provides a financial contribution (representing 65% of the country’s total development aid). Moreover, in 2011 Lithuania joined the World Bank’s International Development Association, which provides loans and grants for anti-poverty programs. Although Lithuania committed to allocating 0.33% of its gross national product to development aid by 2015 as part of its contribution to the U.N. Millennium Development Goals, actual levels of government expenditure remain under the target, reaching 0.13% of GNI in 2017, down from 0.14% in 2016. In absolute terms, development aid increased slightly from €51.6 million in 2016 to €52.55 million in 2017, of which about 19% was bilateral assistance and over 80% multilateral. It is hard to judge the real impact of Lithuania’s development aid given the absence of independent evaluations. Over the last several years, Lithuania’s aid has focused on Ukraine and other Eastern Partnership countries. It should be noted that according to the Eurobarometer survey released in September 2018, the share of respondents who report that helping people in developing countries is very important was among the lowest in the EU-28: 21% compared to the EU-28 average of 42%. Only 29% of Lithuanian respondents agreed that tackling poverty in developing countries should be one of the main national priorities (compared to a EU-28 average of 54%) and 54% agreed that it should be one of the main priorities of the EU (compared to a EU-28 average of 71%).

As a member of the EU, Lithuania is bound by the provisions of the EU’s common policy toward external trade. Although the EU generally maintains a position of openness with regard to trade and investments, it has retained some barriers to market access and other measures that distort international competition. In rare cases, Lithuania has adopted measures within the EU’s external trade regime that restrict trade (e.g., along with other countries, Lithuania prohibited import of a specific genetically modified maize, a measure related to consumer- and environmental-protection concerns, rather than being based on new or additional scientific information about the impact of GMOs). Despite being a small and open economy and officially advocating open global trade policies, Lithuania has often aligned itself in trade discussions with the EU’s most protectionist countries, especially on the application of such instruments as antidumping duties. It has also supported trade protection in the farming sector, backing EU import duties on key agricultural products that hurt developing countries specializing in agricultural exports.
The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lithuanian development aid, 2013.;;
OECD, Lithuania’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), 2016:
European Commission, Special Eurobarometer 476 Report EU citizens and development cooperation, September 2018,
Elsig, M., “European Union trade policy after enlargement: larger crowds, shifting priorities and informal decision-making,” Journal of European Public Policy, 17:6, September 2010, p. 781-798.
During the period under review, Turkey used development assistance to advance social inclusion and development beyond its borders. The government expanded its annual official development assistance (ODA) disbursements considerably from $967 million in 2010 to $8.1 billion in 2017. Turkey, thus, has become one of the leading countries in humanitarian assistance in the world.

Turkey’s development cooperation is provided in line with the Statutory Decree on the Organization and Duties of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA). Established in 1992, TIKA designs and coordinates Turkey’s bilateral development cooperation activities and implements projects in collaboration with other ministries, NGOs and private-sector partners. Since its establishment, TIKA has implemented thousands of projects in more than 150 countries with 61 Program Coordination Offices in 59 countries.

Over the last decade, Turkey’s humanitarian assistance efforts have gained a remarkable impetus and been expanded to many regions across the world. In response to the ongoing Syrian crisis, Turkey has pursued an open-door policy for Syrians fleeing from violence in their country. Turkey provides temporary protection to more than 250,000 Syrians without discrimination. In addition, Turkey has also provided humanitarian aid after earthquake and flood disasters, humanitarian crises, and conflicts across many parts of the world (e.g., to the Rohingya minority in Myanmar). However, religious and ethnic minorities living in bordering countries continue to suffer (partly occasionally, party systematically) from discrimination and marginalization.
Australia plays a significant role in the region with regard to promoting economic development and poverty alleviation in less developed countries, particularly in the Pacific. Australia is also a strong advocate of trade liberalization, especially in relation to agricultural products, which is critically important to economic development in most developing countries.

However, the 2014 government budget included cuts to foreign aid of AUD 7.6 billion over five years, which arguably represents a backward step in promoting economic opportunities in developing countries.

Since 2017, the increasingly aggressive foreign policy of China has resulted in an expansion of Australia’s regional aid programs.

Due to its status as a middle power, Australia lacks leverage on some issues. It has been unable to provide a major impetus to further develop the multilateral trading system, for example. Australian governments have supported the multilateral trading system rhetorically, but have at the same time contributed to the weakening of the WTO by implementing a number of preferential trade agreements. Australia has concluded free trade agreements (FTAs) with all major economies in Asia (ASEAN, South Korea, China and Japan).

Rod McGuirck: Australia details investment in Pacific as China clout grows. AP News. 8 November 2018. Available at
Iceland is a founding member of the United Nations.

The Icelandic International Development Agency (Þróunarsamvinnustofnun Íslands, IIDA) is a public institution associated with the Foreign Ministry, established in 1981. Its mandate is to cooperate with and assist developing countries. Recently, IIDA reduced the number of countries in which it ran projects (bilateral cooperation) from six to three: Malawi, Mozambique, and Uganda. Additionally, the IIDA is involved in a regional project on geothermal power in East-Africa. In late 2015, the Gunnlaugsson cabinet decided to merge the IIDA with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 2009, Iceland’s contribution to development aid amounted to 0.3% of GDP. This was reduced to 0.2% in 2012, well below the U.N. target of 0.7%. In 2014, the contribution rate was 0.24% of GDP, but increased to 0.29% in 2016. At the time of writing, Iceland’s contribution is still less than half of the U.N. target. In 2013, parliament resolved to meet the U.N. target, but has so far failed to implement this resolution. In 2013, Iceland joined the OECD’s Development Cooperation Directorate.

Apart from its rather limited development assistance, Iceland has not undertaken any specific initiatives to promote social inclusion in the context of global frameworks or international trade.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Development Cooperation (Þróunarsamvinna). Accessed 22 December 2018.
The level of official development assistance (ODA) provided by Japan in 2017 increased by 14% to close to $12 billion USD (net), the 4th highest such level among OECD countries. In relative terms, Japan has typically underperformed the OECD average, although it increased ODA to 0.23% of GDP in 2017 from its previous level of 0.2%. The quality of the aid provided has improved in recent years, but assistance has been increasingly aligned with Japan’s broader external-security concerns, a trend which may be viewed critically from the perspective of potential recipients or indeed the development community at large. The country’s 2015 Development Cooperation Charter stresses the principle of cooperation for nonmilitary purpose; the important role of partnerships with the private sector, local governments, NGOs and other local organizations and stakeholders; an emphasis on self-help and inclusiveness; and a focus on gender issues. These ODA guidelines also enable Japan to support aid recipients in security matters, for instance by providing coast-guard equipment.

Another priority of Japan’s ODA is infrastructure development. In 2018, the concept of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” (FOIP) has gained traction, with the Trump administration in the United States also showing interest, although with a less pronounced economic focus than Japan. One concrete initiative in this regard, pursued with India since 2017, is the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor.

Tariffs for agricultural products remain high, as are those for light-industry products such as footwear or headgear in which developing economies might otherwise enjoy competitive advantages. On the non-tariff side, questions about the appropriateness of many food-safety and animal- and plant-health measures (sanitary and phytosanitary measures) remain.
Ken Okaniwa, Changes to ODA Charter reflect new realities, The Japan Times, 29 May 2015,

David Brewster, Japan’s plans to build a “Free and Open” Indian Ocean, The Lowy Institute, Sydney, 29 May 2018,

SEEK Development, Japan Donor Profile, Donor Tracker , Berlin, March 2018
Regarding free trade, Mexico is supportive of open trade agreements and actively seeks good relations with any country that might counterbalance its heavy economic dependence on the United States. Mexico has also been active in financing international development, providing modest levels of foreign aid and investing in triangular cooperation. Moreover, foreign policy continues to embrace the topic of south-south-cooperation and supports regional development projects. The Mexican government has also been a supporter of the U.N. Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) and Agenda 2030, launched in 2015.

However, Mexico could do more to promote and advance social inclusion beyond its borders. The treatment of Central American immigrants needs to be greatly improved. Diplomatic relations between Mexico and its southern neighbors are very good, but there is room for improvement in trade treaties in the region and Mexico could lead efforts to increase the economic integration and global competitiveness of Latin America. An excessive dependence on trade with the United States has prevented Mexico from looking south.

However, apart from free trade and good relations with the southern neighbors, international relations and Mexico’s actions in multilateral organizations do not play a major role in Mexican politics. For that the internal problems of the country are too urgent.
Slovakia ceased to receive World Bank development aid in 2008, and has been a donor of development assistance ever since. In September 2013, the country became the 27th member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee. However, official development assistance (ODA) has remained substantially below the EU target of 0.33% of GNI. Slovakia’s top priorities with regard to ODA, as formulated in an official strategy for 2014 – 2018, include education and health care as well as the strengthening of stability and good governance in regions and countries that are of special interest to Slovakia. In line with this strategy, Slovakia focuses its bilateral development cooperation on three countries (Afghanistan, Kenya and South Sudan) as well as on several countries in the Western Balkans (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia), Eastern Europe (Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) and Africa (Tunisia), with which it shares similar experiences of transformation.

In 2018, Slovakia took part in the 2018 voluntary national review of the UN’s High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and has started to draw up a medium-term strategy for development cooperation for 2019-2030. While official development assistance has continued to increase, there is still no set plan how to achieve the country’s official target of slating 0.33% of GNI for ODA by 2030.
OECD (2019): Development Co-Operation Peer Review Slovakia 2019. Paris.
South Korea
The Moon administration has as yet failed to revitalize Korean development cooperation. In 2017, the country provided $2.2 billion in net official development assistance (ODA), which was more than the year before but still represented just 0.14% of gross national income (GNI). Increase in ODA spending had stalled under the Park administration, and Korea failed to achieve its goal of increasing spending to 0.25% of GNI in 2015. A new ODA target was set at 0.30% of GNI by 2030. Korea’s aid also fails to meet the recommendations of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), for example with respect to the share of grants, and regarding both untied and multilateral aid.
South Korea has also shown little initiative with respect to activity supporting a fair global trading system. Instead, it has largely focused on negotiating bilateral preferential trade agreements with a growing number of countries, including countries in the developing world. Due to product-market regulations and the oligopolistic structure of many market segments, market access for products from developing countries remains limited.
OECD, Development Co-operation Report. 2018.
OECD, KOREA Development Assistance Committee (DAC), PEER REVIEW 2012, s/Korea%20CRC%20-%20FINAL%2021%20JA N.pdf
Budget cuts severely restricted the funding available for policies and instruments designed to enhance Spain’s influence abroad. Currently, Spain gives just 0.22% of its GDP (2018) to official development assistance. The conservative Rajoy government approved the 5th multiannual plan for cooperation policy 2018 – 2021 in March 2018. The plan failed to receive the support of the agents involved, mainly due to the lack of budgetary resources and its lack of specific deadlines. As a consequence, Spain has remained at the bottom of the international donor community.

With the change of government, this issue has been given greater political priority. A new coordinating cross-cutting structure for the entire public administration (the High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda) was created within the Prime Minister’s Office. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez defended multilateralism and diversity in his first speech in front of the UN General Assembly in September 2018, supporting international action on behalf of the Sustainable Developments Goals and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. However these gestures have yet to be supported with increased resources and more ambitious policies.
Donor Tracker: Spain ountry/spain

Government of Spain(2018), La cooperación española. -
The Swiss government has increased its development-aid contributions since 2000. In 2017, they receded compared to 2016, due to, among other factors, austerity measures adopted by parliament. Currently, Switzerland’s contributions are above average when compared to other consolidated democracies. However, this remains far below the UN target of 0.7 of GNI as well as below the spending levels of the Scandinavian countries, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany. The Swiss government has set the goal of spending 0.5% of its GDP on development aid in the long run. In 2017, 0.46% of GNI was spent on development aid. Sustainable agriculture, decentralized governance, poverty reduction and vocational training are core issues driving Swiss development cooperation (SDC). In the countries where it supports projects or aid distribution, SDC has a good reputation for maintaining independence from home industrial interests and for making long-term commitments. Nevertheless, it is a small donor with limited impact. SDC is well embedded within international development agencies and coordinates its activities with their agendas on issues such as poverty reduction, climate change, and sustainable economic development. To a certain degree, SDC’s activities differ from general patterns of Swiss foreign policy, which is more conventional. Foreign policy is mainly trade oriented, supporting policies of market liberalization through international agencies like the WTO. In this context, development cooperation policies have become controversial. Whereas the SVP criticizes development cooperation as ineffective and calls for SDC budget cuts, the policy network of Swiss private development-aid agencies advocate a shift in policy that involves the mitigation of north-south inequalities by revising trade arrangements that disadvantage developing countries.
Although the United States’ efforts have lagged behind those of other OECD countries, relative to the size of their economies, it provides a large share of the world’s development assistance. For most of the postwar era, U.S. foreign aid has had four features that have reduced its impact on economic development and welfare in poor countries: It has been modest in amount relative to national income; it has been heavily skewed toward military assistance; it has not always been coordinated with assistance from international organizations; and – at least with regard to food assistance – it has often been designed to benefit U.S. agricultural, shipping and commercial interests along with aid recipients.

Reversing this direction with his “America first” agenda, Trump has cut foreign aid budgets with plans to seek reductions of up to 37% and even abolish the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). To support Israel, he has barred aid to Palestine. In deference to anti-abortion demands, he has barred international organizations that either promote or perform abortions from involvement in distributing economic aid. At the end of 2018, the Trump Administration changed its course again. With the Build Act and other activities, the administration looked again to foreign aid policy as an instrument of soft power.
The government shows limited engagement in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. Many of its measures or policies lack coherence.
Austria often gives rhetorical support to agendas seeking to improve the global social balance. However, when it comes to actions such as spending public money to improve development in poor countries, Austria is often slow to fulfill its promises.

Austria’s role in the European attempt to control mass migration is overshadowed by the multifaceted phenomenon of migration. To distinguish between political asylum-seekers, war refugees and economic migrants (as would be, according to the legal norms, necessary), the general political tendency is to put all migrants in one basket. Austria’s role in closing the land route to the European Union (“Balkan Route”) has been seen (and promoted) only from the viewpoint of an immediate Austrian national interest – not as an all-European or global matter. The significance of global inequalities as the main reason for mass migration is mentioned usually only as a rhetorical ritual.

As an EU member state, Austria’s position concerning tariffs and imports is defined by the European Union’s position. This body also represents Austria in the World Trade Organization. To prevent certain agricultural products from entering the Austrian market, the Austrian media and political parties (including agricultural interest groups) use environmental rather than specifically trade-focused arguments.

The gap between political rhetoric and political activity with respect to socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries has grown wider during the period under review. Austrian politics and public discourse have reacted to the ongoing volatile economic and fiscal situation by concentrating even more on internal demands. The debate regarding the EU-U.S. negotiations concerning a transatlantic free trade agreement has been dominated by a parochial outlook with little room for global arguments. According to critics, Austria’s standards are among the highest in the world and any free trade agreement would result in a decline in quality for Austrian consumers. Nonetheless, after some heated debates, the government has at last agreed to CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Europe and Canada.

Regarding Austrian debates about migration and refugees, most comments declare that the best way of dealing with “mass migration” to Europe (including Austria) is to improve the conditions of migrants in their home countries. But with the exception of smaller parties (like the liberal NEOS and the Greens) no political actors have dared to promote costly Austrian activities to improve living conditions, for example, in Africa. Current global inequality is widely recognized – including its decisive influence on migration – but the consequences are not seriously discussed within the Austrian political system.
Until the onset of the economic crisis, Greece was active in assisting less developed countries. Since the crisis began, the country has focused on managing its own domestic social policy problems. In 2017, Greece’s official development aid as a share of GNI stood at 0.16%, far below the OECD average (0.32%). This was a decrease of 15.8% in real terms from 2016 due to lower in-refugee costs (that are spent within Greece). In 2017, 22.7% of the Greek bilateral aid budget was in-refugee costs (compared with 39.8% in 2016). In the same year, 56% of Greek aid was multilateral. The largest recipients of Greek aid were Turkey (Greece’s contribution to the EU-Turkey refugee agreement) and Albania. Overall, because of constraints imposed by the ongoing economic crisis, Greece has not helped curb inequalities in developing countries. In general, the current Greek government has shown little interest in engaging in international efforts to help developing countries nor demonstrated initiative and assumed responsibility or acting as an agenda-setter within the international framework. It has, however, supported all relevant EU and UN initiatives.
Data on Official Development Assistance is provided by Tables available on this SGI platform and from DAC / OECD
Development cooperation has become a more relevant issue in Poland since EU accession, even though it is still not a priority of the Polish government. While Poland became the 28th member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in October 2013, it remains one of the group’s least-active donors. However, its contribution has increased over the years, and has now reached 0.13% of GDP. In October 2015, the Kopacz government agreed to implement its new development program for 2016 – 2020, which aimed primarily to support NGO projects in Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova, as well as projects in East Africa and South America for a total of PLN 1.5 billion annually. This was updated in September 2018 to include Lebanon and Uganda as countries with a high priority. In public debates about migration and its causes, the PiS government frequently argues that it prefers to provide help in the regions where refugees or migrants come from. At the EU-Africa summit that took place in Valetta, Malta on 12 November 2015, Poland promised to contribute €1 million to address root causes of migration from Africa. Current Prime Minister Morawiecki has proposed a new Marshall-Plan-like effort for Africa. In 2017, the country spent €180 million on humanitarian aid.
There has been virtually no change in this area vis-à-vis previous reporting periods. Foreign aid remains very much a secondary consideration in foreign policy, with the main interest being in economic diplomacy promoting the Portuguese economy and its exports. That does not mean that Portugal is disengaged – it still participates through the provision of foreign aid, especially in the Portuguese-speaking countries of Africa and East Timor. However, while there is some funding for foreign-aid projects, there is little concern with overarching aid policy, which means that coherence has not been as strong as it might be. This lack of interest has also percolated through to the design of international policies and the lack of international leadership in that regard. It must also be kept in mind that Portugal is a follower, not an international leader, and has very few resources. Therefore, while Portugal is supportive of good intentions, it is in fact marginal with regard to the implementation and design of foreign assistance.

However, if the question were to be shifted to include foreign involvement beyond the financial and economic sphere, then Portugal is a “supplier of security” through its fairly limited participation in U.N., NATO, and EU security- and humanitarian-support missions. Furthermore, in specific instances such as Guinea-Bissau, Portugal is relatively very active in attempting to stabilize national governments, promote security and ultimately promote development. Despite Portugal’s limited resources, it is providing the first professional military education to the armed forces of Guinea-Bissau.
With EU accession in 2004, Slovenia’s status changed from donor to recipient of official development assistance. However, Slovenia has not been very active in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. The few initiatives that exist are mostly focused on the former Yugoslavia. The prevailing attitude is that Slovenia has its own measure of socioeconomic problems to tackle and that potential Slovenian international influence is negligible. Still, Slovenia’s official development assistance comes close to the EU target and has risen substantially in recent years.
In the Commitment to Development Index, the Netherlands’ ranking has remained relatively stable over the last few years, 7 out of the 27 richest countries in 2017. In 2017, the Netherlands commitment 0.60% of its GNI to development assistance, close to the international commitment of 0.7% GNI and above average for CDI countries. In addition, costs for climate policy will be allocated to development aid budgets. Expenditure on international conflict management has added to the diminishing state budget for development aid.

Aid is no longer focusing on poverty reduction alone, but also on global sustainable and inclusive growth, and on success for Dutch firms in foreign countries. The driving idea is that “economic and knowledge diplomacy” can forge a coalition between Dutch business-sector experts (in reproductive health, water management and food security/agriculture), and business and civil society associations in developing countries. Climate has been included as a key focus area, alongside poverty, migration and terrorism. Cutbacks in the areas of women’s rights or emergency aid have been made. Good-governance aid will be focused on helping developing countries to improve taxation systems. Following OECD guidelines, there will be a reassessment of the negative side effects of Dutch corporate policies in developing countries. The Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment is an independent advisory body of experts, which won an award in 2017 for the quality of its services. It provides advisory services and capacity development to international governments on the quality of environmental assessments with the aim of contributing to sound decision-making.

The Dutch policy response to the recent refugee crisis has mimicked Denmark’s efforts, seeking to discourage refugees from coming to the Netherlands, with an additional €290 million allocated for refugee relief in local regions.

All of this shows declining commitment by the Dutch government to global policy frameworks and a fair global-trading system; the aspiration is instead to link development aid to Dutch national economic- and international-safety interests.
Rijksoverheid, Beleidsnota Investeren in Perspectief, 2018

Netherlands Commission on Environmental Assessment, 2018 (, accessed 8 November 2018)

WRR (2010), Minder pretentie, meer ambitie. Ontwikkelingshulp die verschil maakt, Amsterdam University Press

Wat de wereld verdient: Een nieuwe agenda voor hulp, handel en investeringen, 5 april 2013 (…)

Center for Global Development, Commitment to Development Index, 2017 (consulted 8 November 2018)

Ontwikkelingsresultaten in beeld 2016, (consulted 29 october 2017)

Additional references:

De Correspondent,Nederland steekt het meeste ontwikkelingshulpgeld in…Nederland ()De Correspondent B.V., consulted 8 November 2016)
The economic crisis has placed continued pressure on the government’s development-aid efforts. International-development policies, which are now split between the federal and federated entities, are increasingly being seen as an instrument to help Belgian firms export to developing countries. Unrelated aid is being cut, and Belgium has repeatedly missed its own spending targets despite recognized Belgian expertise in the field, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. At the international level, Belgium has been part of efforts to push for more fair-trade arrangements, but has not been an agenda-setter.
The Croatian government takes part in the activities of international organizations to which the country belongs; these are mostly in the field of international security and involve armed-forces personnel in various roles. The government does not have a well-developed international-development policy and is little more than a passive participant in most other joint international activities. Trade policy is mostly focused on regional and EU relations, with the government lacking an independent policy beyond this context. For trade issues related to international development, the government follows the policy of the European Union and other international organizations. Since joining the EU, Croatia’s international assistance policy has improved. The National Strategy for Development Cooperation 2015 – 2020 has been adopted, and the country aims to increase its development aid to 0.33% of GDP by 2030. This includes funds for the European Development Fund, which distributes aid at the EU level.
Cyprus participates and contributes in development-cooperation programs within the context of its membership in major international organizations. Its main policy is tied to that of the EU as well as manifested through international-cooperation and bilateral agreements in various fields. Cyprus is a contributor to UNITAID, participates in financing mechanisms for climate change, and provides assistance for infrastructure development, social services including health and human development, and environmental protection. Its official development assistance (ODA) amounted to 0.1136% of GDP in 2012 with an ODA target set at 0.33% by 2015. The latest data available on the CyprusAid website date back to 2013.

Actions and policies do not appear to form part of a specific national strategy; rather, they take place primarily within existing international frameworks. The government appears to have little agenda-setting ambition in terms of pursuing specific initiatives of its own design.
1. Data on ODA, Cyprus,
Israeli policy regarding global inequalities mainly consists of offering assistance in humanitarian, medical and financial aid to developing countries during emergencies. In recent decades, this aid has been expanded to technological and agricultural knowledge-sharing. For example, in 2016, the Ministry of Economy and the Israel National Cyber Bureau organized a workshop to teach and share the country’s cybersecurity expertise with developing countries (such as Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, India, Zambia, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire and Montenegro). The government’s Center for International Cooperation (MASHAV) oversees cooperation with other developed countries, and is responsible for launching emergency-assistance missions.

Although Israel has signed a number of international cooperation agreements with parties such as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), it is not considered to be a leader or an agenda setter with regard to global fair-trade policies. However, it is improving its regulatory structure to reflect international trade agreements and WTO standards. In response to the 2011 social protests, it dismantled some import barriers and has begun to eliminate and reduce import duties on items such as electrical appliances, textiles and apparel, and recently, many food items.
Hayut, Ilanit, “Israeli gov’t expands meat imports to spur competition” Globes, 24.03.2016,

“Israel and World Bank Group sign agreement to share innovative best practices in water,” The World Bank website 17.6.2015:

“Israel shares cybersecurity expertise with World Bank client countries,” The World Bank Website, 22.6.2016:
The engagement of the Italian government in promoting socioeconomic opportunities internationally is generally rather limited. Over the years, the Italian level of international aid has been among the lowest for developed countries, but has increased recently from 0.13% of GDP in 2012 to 0.26% in 2016, according to the OECD and other sources. A special sector where past governments have displayed a significant activity is that of providing help at sea through the Italian navy for illegal immigrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea on unsecure boats belonging to traffickers. In order to address the rapid increase in immigration across the Mediterranean Sea and the humanitarian catastrophes produced by this increase, the Italian government has proposed an EU “immigration compact,” which should strengthen long-term EU help to African countries and develop bilateral agreements for the regulation of migration.

On a more qualitative and organizational level Italy has stressed the importance of fighting hunger and developing food production and distribution. Probably because of this activism it hosts three major U.N. food agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Program (WFP).
The Conte government does not seem to have any interest in being more active in this field.
The Maltese government has very limited opportunities to help shape or advance social inclusion beyond its borders. What little influence of this kind it has acquired is related to its participation in international organizations (such as the UN and WHO) and EU Ministerial Councils. In 2004, Malta committed itself to allocate 0.33% of GNI to Official Development Assistance (ODA) by 2015. However, Malta’s foreign affairs minister stated that Malta was pledging only €900,000 in 2017, even though the 2016 national contribution should have been €33 million. Malta has also received criticism from CONCORD (a European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs) regarding the actual share of the funds that reach these developing societies at the grassroots level. An analysis of the 2016 funds indicates that a large percentage was put toward domestic use. More recent figures are not available, but a 2018 Implementation Plan delineates several main areas of implementation (co-funding of official development assistance projects, capacity building, the creation of the Arvid Pardo scholarship fund, and contributions to trust funds for the purposes of humanitarian aid funding).

Malta supports EU efforts to address the refugee crisis, and was the only EU member state to have fulfilled its asylum relocation commitments in 2017. The country had accepted 168 refugees as of October 2018. Malta will also provide its support for the UN Global compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. In the last quarter of the review period, the prime minister attempted to facilitate the creation of an ad hoc system for the redistribution of asylum seekers reaching Southern Europe among EU states. Moreover, through the European Union, Malta contributes to the EU Emergency Trust Fund supported by the Joint Valletta Action Plan and the Malta Declaration during Malta’s EU presidency in 2017. Indeed, Malta is already one of the top 10 EU donors to this fund on a per capita basis, and a slated 45% increase is set to make the country one of the largest donors. Projects implemented by Maltese non-governmental development organizations (NGDOs) also contribute significantly to development projects in other countries. Malta is attempting to establish a leading role in the area of development education, and has introduced a master’s degree in humanitarian action, targeting field workers in the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf region.

Malta’s development policy attaches special importance to countries in the Horn of Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, the main source of asylum-seekers and clandestine immigrants to Malta. To this end, a Maltese High Commission is set to open in Ghana, making it the country’s first mission to sub-Saharan Africa. Malta’s development policy also seeks to assist with development in Mediterranean states, notably North Africa and the Palestinian territories, providing scholarships and other forms of aid. Malta is one of 26 states serving as a permanent member of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Malta also actively assists other small states through the Commonwealth by making available its acquired experience and expertise as a developed small island country. In general, Malta follows the lead of the European Union; its policies on tariffs are in line with those agreed to in Brussels.

Between 2015 and 2018, Malta used its role as chair of the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting to press for development in a number of areas, including polio eradication, financial support for poorer Commonwealth states, combating climate change and women rights. Malta also hosted the Commonwealth Local Government Forum in November 2017, while plans for the island to host the first Commonwealth Conference on direct foreign investment were announced in 2018.
Official Development Assistance Policy and a Framework for Humanitarian Assistance 2014 – 2020 p.8
Malta Today 06/09/2017 Malta’s overseas development aid way off €30 million target

Official Development Assistance Policy and a Framework for Humanitarian Assistance- Implementation Plan 2018
Malta Today 25/09/17 Malta the only EU country to fulfill asylum relocation quota
European Council 03/02/17 Malta Declaration by members of the European Council on the external aspects of migration
Newsbook 16/10/2018 Malta to be one of largest donors to Africa’s Emergency Trust Fund
Times of Malta 31/01/2018 Malta to open high commission in Ghana
Times of Malta 26/11/2015 Commonwealth trade facility to be set up
Times of Malta 28/11/2015 Commonwealth can bridge divide on climate change
Times of Malta 25/11/2015 Malta to host Commonwealth Center to help small states, contribute €100,000
Times of Malta 27/11/2015 Financial services: ‘some of best growth opportunities in Commonwealth’
TVM 16/04/2018 PM announces that Malta will host first Commonwealth Conference on direct foreign investment
Romania remains a minor player on the global stage when dealing with issues of global inequality. In 2016, the Cioloș government put development assistance on a new footing. Among other things, Law No. 213/2016 created a new Agency for International Development Cooperation, “RoAid,” which is responsible for implementing development cooperation and humanitarian aid-related activities. In 2016, official development assistance rose by 71% in real terms. Further, Romania became a participant in the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee in April of 2018. Romanian bilateral development cooperation has focused mostly on Moldova, Turkey, Serbia, Ukraine and Syria. In 2018, Romania’s support to Moldova has focused on defending the country’s democratic institutions in the wake of the tumultuous mayoral elections in Chisinau. Furthermore, Romania continues to be an active supporter of Moldova’s stated pro-European objectives, which includes deepening integration into the West and the removal of Russian forces in the break-away region of Transnistria. Moldova’s ailing political and economic systems, as well as its proximity to Romania and geopolitical importance to Europe vis-a-vis Russia make it an important area of political and economic engagement.
The promotion of equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries is not on the agenda of Bulgarian society and its government. Bulgarian officials take positions on this issue only when they are required to do so by the agendas of international bodies such as the European Union and the United Nations. On such occasions, the behavior of Bulgarian officials is reactive and not proactive. However, Bulgaria does not resort to protectionist trade barriers beyond the structure of such barriers imposed by the European Union, and does not impede or attempt to undermine efforts by the international community to promote equal opportunities in developing countries.
Hungary pays only relatively little policy attention to developing countries. The Orbán government adopted a strategy for international development cooperation and humanitarian aid for the period 2014-2020 in March 2014. Hungary’s development cooperation focuses on countries which have a large Hungarian minority and strong trade links with Hungary (Serbia, Ukraine) or in which Hungary has been militarily involved (Afghanistan). About 80% of all funds go to Serbia and Ukraine. Hungary’s net ODA has fallen short of the official EU and OECD targets and has further declined relative to GDP in recent years.
OECD (2017): Development Co-operation Peer Review Hungary 2017. Paris (
As a result of government austerity programs, funding for bilateral development cooperation was reduced to a minimum between 2009 and 2011. This reduction has meant that Latvia’s ability to directly contribute to efforts to tackle global social inequalities has been negligible. In 2016, Latvia’s official development assistance (ODA) expenditure was €19 million or 0.08% of GNI, down from €21 million or 0.21% GNI in 2015. Latvia has adopted a multi-year ODA strategy, which foresees increasing contributions to 0.33% of GNI by 2020.

Bilateral development cooperation focuses on the three top-priority countries of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
1. State Development Cooperation Policy Plan (2016 – 2020), Available at (in Latvian):ības-politikas-pamatnostadnem-2016-2020-gadam. Last assessed: 30.12.2018.
The government does not contribute (and often undermines) efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries.
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