Brussels, 21 November 2019 – EU aid decreased in 2018, continuing the downward trend from 2017. Despite the well-received 25% reduction in inflated aid, EU aid is still decreasing after discounting these components. This means that, at the current rate of growth, the EU will only meet the 0.7% ODA/GNI target in 2061, as revealed by the CONCORD AidWatch Report 2019.

Looking into the Leave No One Behind principle and how to actually implement it, the AidWatch report shows that the current EU ODA allocation is not guided by the high levels of poverty and inequality in some regions of the world.

In 2018, EU aid level decreased by 5.8% in absolute terms compared to the previous year. While inflated aid still represents 14% of the total EU aid budget, this decline, mainly among a dozen EU Member States, is correlated to the decrease of several components, like in-donor refugee costs, tied aid and debt relief, all reported as ODA.

We are moving further away from the 2030 Agenda. Not only are we missing the target in terms of quantity, but also the quality of aid is lagging behind. Fewer resources from the EU are dedicated to poverty eradication and global sustainable development. As a consequence of EU interests overtaking development objectives for several years, a change in aid recipient countries must be noted, which badly affects countries and people left behind.
Luca De Fraia

Expert from ActionAid Italy

Although a slight increase of EU aid went from the Member States to the Least Developed Countries (from 0.11% in 2017 to 0.12% in 2018), the AidWatch 2019 report points out that those most in need of resources currently receive only 8% of EU aid and that only 2 countries, from the top 10 EU aid recipients, have been identified as such by our methodology [1].
All world leaders have pledged to leave no one behind on the journey to sustainable development. EU leaders have a big responsibility to make sure that they provide more international aid, but also that aid is used effectively for the people being left behind in the world today. Better data, better analysis and a comprehensive approach to funding is needed, so that aid does what will make the biggest difference to people who are most marginalised, excluded or discriminated against and the poorest and most financially challenged countries.
Åsa Thomasson

Expert from CONCORD Sweden

The CONCORD AidWatch report 2019 assembles a whole set of recommendations on how to start implementing the Leave No One Behind principle and ensure that EU aid is adequately used for poverty and inequality reduction.



[1] The 2 countries identified overlap from a country groups comparison of several pre-established criteria: off-track countries, countries left behind, poverty-challenged countries and severely financially-challenged countries.



  • CONCORD EUROPECONCORD is the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs, made up of 28 national associations, 23 international networks and 4 associate members that represent over 2.600 NGOs, supported by millions of citizens across Europe.
  • AIDWATCH REPORTS: Since 2005, CONCORD AidWatch monitors aid spendings and formulates recommendations on the quality and quantity of aid provided by EU Member States and the European Commission. CONCORD actively campaigns to hold EU leaders accountable for their commitments to dedicate 0,7% of their Gross National Income to development assistance and to use this aid in genuine, poverty-focused and effective ways. 
  • REPORT ON INEQUALITIES: This report looks into this multidimensional concept and offers concrete proposals for EU decision-makers to respond to this soaring worldwide, man-made problem. 
  • ODA COMMITMENT & DEFINITION: The EU commitment on spending 0.7% of its GNI on ODA has been recently renewed in the European Consensus on Development. Resource here.
  • OECD DAC: Global aid figures: Preliminary data 2018 – Report “Joining Forces to Leave No One Behind”