What do you understand by the term overseas development assistance (ODA)? Critically discuss the trends in overseas development assistance flows in recent years
ODA is defined as a concessional funding provided by relatively well developed countries to developing countries for their welfare and economic development. The key focus of ODA is on poverty and infrastructure development.
The UNGA had called for all developed countries to gradually increase their ODA targets to minimum 0.7% of their Gross National Income. As of now, only six countries are able to match this target. However, the global ODA has increased from USD 40 Billion in 1960s to above USD 130 Billion currently. However, in 2015-16, the ODA flow fell marginally around the world including Africa.
Out of the total global ODA, 2/3rd part comes from G-8 countries. Norway, Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, UK, France, Japan and United States are largest donors in the world.
Further, the domestic resources are still important for most developing countries for their development needs. ODAs still make a small part, yet, it is the largest international resource flow for around 43 countries in the world. In few African countries, the total ODA flow outweighed the government expenditures. Currently, the largest proportion of ODA is received by Sub-Saharan Africa, followed by South Asia. In 2011, the largest individual recipient of ODA was Afghanistan.
In the light of above trends, it can be safely concluded that currently, ODA accounts for a meager proportion of total development resources for most countries, it is much more vital for few countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Currently, most donors find it difficult to reach the 0.7% ODA targets as stipulated by UN.