Official Development Assistance (ODA) Data
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Camões, I.P. makes available the Integrated Information System for Portuguese Cooperation.
It is an online database that provides information on Official Development Assistance (ODA) both in aggregate terms (Global Data) and by project. The data is available both in Portuguese and in English, in €uros and US dollars, for a certain time period.
In the light of the good practices (both national and international) regarding transparency, accountability and communication, of the DAC Main Findings and Recommendations to Portugal and, of the several commitments that Portugal has been undertaking in this field, this new system stands as an important "result” within the progresses made so far.
Main Characteristics of Portuguese Official Development Assistance (ODA)
The new ODA accounting method
From 2019 (2018 ODA), the OECD/DAC adopted the statistical reporting of aid flows based on the grant equivalent measure, still, detailed information on the previous cash flow measure continued to be collected and published. The new measure changed the method of accounting the lines of credit / concessional loans allocated to partner countries.
In the cash flow system, the face value of the credit lines / concessional loans was recorded as ODA, once the applicable eligibility conditions were observed.
In the grant equivalent system, only the component / concessional value of the credit lines / loans can be counted as ODA instead of the face value, thus calculating the real “effort” of the provider in conceding a loan and its benefit for the partner country. In grant equivalent, is recorded the grant component of gross disbursements, repayments are no longer weighted in the calculation of ODA.
In the grant equivalent system, the more concessional the loan (with more benefit for the partner country) the greater the amount recorded as ODA. The donor's effort to provide a more concessional and riskier loan (e.g. to LDC countries) is now reflected in ODA statistics.
ODA volume and evolution
Portuguese ODA, in 2015, continued the negative trend started in 2012, with a global decrease compared to 2014 of 14%, standing in net values, at 278M€. The fact that Portugal was, until June 2014, under an Economic and Financial Assistance Program justifies this behavior. The recovery occurred in 2016, with an increase of 11%, agreeing with a phase of recovery of economic growth in the country. In 2017, the growing trend was confirmed, with ODA reaching 338M€, stabilizing in 2018 at 329M € and recovering in 2019 to 341M€ (+4%).
In 2015, the year in which total ODA was 279M€, Bilateral ODA registered 132M€, which indicated a 29% decrease compared to 2014. In that year, the Multilateral component showed an increase of 5%, totaling 146M€. In 2016, despite the increase in Total ODA to 310M€, there was a further decline in Bilateral ODA (-14%), counterbalanced, however, by a rise in the Multilateral component (+35%). In 2017, total ODA was 338M€ and the trend of the previous year is confirmed, with the decrease of Bilateral ODA (-10%), the growing of the Multilateral component (+20%), and the global growth of ODA (+9%). For 2018 (total ODA 329M€), a value of 112M€ of Bilateral ODA was reached, which indicates an increase of 10% compared to 2017 (102M€), corresponding to the first positive evolution since 2011/2012. The Multilateral ODA component declined by around 8%, to 217M€ (236M€ in 2017). The year of 2019 registered a global rise of 4%, however, there was again a decrease in the Bilateral ODA (-6%), a trend that has already been verified in previous years. Multilateral ODA recovered by 9%.
Between 2015 and 2019, ODA/GNI ranged between 0.16% and 0.18%. The decrease recorded in 2019 (0.17%) does not reflect a drop in the volume of ODA, but rather reflects the national situation already verified in 2018, of continued economic growth after the effects of the economic and financial adjustment program that Portugal was subject, and that translates into a higher GNI.
The negative trend of ODA since 2012 is explained, on the one hand, by the general decrease in the Portuguese Government’s financial effort (motivated by budgetary restraint vis-à-vis the Economic and Financial Assistance Program) and on the other hand, by the debt repayment period to Portugal by the Angolan State, started in 2009. The lower use of concessional loans by partner countries as they are in the final disbursement phase, contributed to the negative variation since 2015.
The Portuguese Bilateral ODA represents, on average, 35% of the Total ODA, confirming the geographical concentration in the PALOP and Timor-Leste, while the Multilateral ODA reaches a relative weight of 65%, being mostly directed to the European Union (EU) institutions, the World Bank Group (BM) mainly from 2017, and the United Nations (UN).
In 2019, the ODA of all CAD / OECD member countries totalled USD 152.8 billion (preliminary data in grant equivalent), corresponding to USD 147.4 billion of net ODA. Portugal ranked 23rd in the group of the 29 DAC donor countries.
The Portuguese Bilateral ODA reversed in 2018 the cycle of decreasing trend of the last years, reaching 112M€. A value that represents 34% of the total ODA in that year and a 10% variation compared to 2017, breaking the downline drawn in recent years, motivated, mainly, by Angola’s debt repayment to Portugal, by the start of the period of repayment of lines of credit/loans by Cabo Verde, and also by the lower use of lines of credit/loans by partner countries, such as S. Tome & Principe. In 2018, the main rise reason was the inclusion of 7,9M€ of SOFID's capitalization reflecting, in that year, the effort made by Portugal in diversifying the sources of financing for development. In 2019, this peak was reversed, with a further decrease (-6%), corresponding to 105M€.
 Value corresponding to the ODA eligibility coefficient calculated by SOFID within the scope of the OECD/DAC ODA Eligibility Assessment, necessary to report Private Sector Instruments (PSI).
The distribution of bilateral ODA by type of finance illustrates the downward trend of concessional lines of credit/loans and the stabilization of grants component. In 2015, grants surpassed loans component and two new types of finance (interest subsidy and equity) arose for the first time, with not significant values. The volume of concessional lines of credit/loans, very expressive especially in 2011 and 2012, adopted a decreasing line and, from 2017, started to record negative values.
In 2016, the amount of concessionary credit/loans was 12% of bilateral ODA, which in absolute terms was the lowest figure since 2007. Aid in the form of grants rose 16% compared with 2015, representing 88% of bilateral ODA. In 2017, the grant component increased again, reaching 106M€, with a further rise in 2018 to 116M€. The loans and other financing instruments, on the other hand, and for the first time, reached negative values in 2017 (-4M€), scenario repeated in 2018 (-4M€), above all, due to the repayment by Angola of the debt to Portugal which represented, on average, 25 M€ per year between 2015-19.
In 2019, grants rose (129M€) and the negative weight of the loan component (-24M€) increased. In this way, is maintained the record of lessening use of credit lines by partner countries and the increase (significant in 2019) of repayments on concessional loans/credit lines, which, since 2017, have exceeded the amount of disbursements made.
Portuguese ODA is mostly concentrated in PALOP countries and Timor Leste.. This trend was particularly evident in 2010 and 2011 when PALOP countries and Timor Leste jointly received, respectively, 80% and 90% of bilateral ODA, has registered a continued fall reaching, in 2015, 69%. From 2016 to 2018 the Angola’s debt repayment to Portugal, the start of the repayment period of concessional lines of credit/loans by Cabo Verde, as well as the decreasing use of concessional lines of credit/loans by the partner countries, explain the fall to 60% (2016), 56% (2017) and 53% (2018). On the other hand, the growth trend of “Other countries/groups” reflected the policy of geographic diversification of Portuguese ODA. In 2019, the 6 main Portuguese cooperation partners collected 61% of aid.
The analysis of the distribution of bilateral ODA gross disbursements (to avoid the distortion introduced by the amounts received) reveals that Mozambique (48,8M€) and Cabo Verde (20,1M€) were, just like in the previous four years, the main recipients of bilateral aid in 2019. Both received, in gross amounts, 43% of the total gross ODA. A significant part of these amounts refers to concessional lines of credit/loans for the construction of facilities and infrastructures and investments in the sectors of renewable energy, the environment, tourism and social housing.
Regarding sectors, the priorities for Portuguese co-operation are based on the following criteria: (1) priorities defined by the national development strategies of partner countries and (2) the added value of Portuguese development co-operation based on Portuguese institutions’ high experience in the areas of education and training, strengthening of the public sector administrative management and good governance.
The sector group Social Infrastructure & Services (education, health, population, reproductive health, water and sanitation, government and civil society, other infrastructures and social services) concentrated on average of 78% of bilateral ODA in the past five years.
Non Sector Allocable Aid, which includes contributions to General Programme Assistance, Actions related to debt, Humanitarian aid and assistance to refugees in donor countries, represented 11%, due to the use of concessionary lines of credit/loans by countries such as Morocco, Cabo Verde, Mozambique, S. Tome & Principe and China, but also in result of the gradual increase in aid to refugees and humanitarian assistance.
The group Economic Infrastructure & Services (Transport, Communications, Banking and Financial Services), gathered 4% of bilateral ODA.
The Multisector group, a category that includes projects benefiting several sectors simultaneously and contains environmental protection, rural development and food security, stood at 5%.
The volume of 2015 multilateral ODA confirmed a tendency of stabilization in the last three years. However, 2016 was marked by a notable positive variation in this component that reached 197M€ (146M€ in 2015), explained by the increase in the contribution to the European Commission's Budget for External Aid, as a result of the entry into force, in 2016, of new rules on own resources. In 2017, although less accentuated, the rise in multilateral ODA continued, justified by the extraordinary settlement of arrears to some organizations related to previous years' commitments, thus surpassing the 200M€ barrier (236M€). In 2018, there was a reduction of multilateral ODA (217M€) of 8% compared to the previous year, mainly due to the 2017 exceptionally high values, but recovered in 2019 (+9%, 236M€), due to the increase in contributions to the UN and the EU.
Source: Camões, I.P./GPPE
In the 2015-2019 period the majority of Portuguese multilateral aid (79%) is allocated through EU institutions, especially by the contributions to the European Development Fund (EDF) which finances EU assistance for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP), as well as to the European Commission’s Budget for External Aid to developing countries not covered by the EDF. Contributions to the Regional Development Banks, World Bank and WTO accounted for 15%. UN institutions received, on average, 6% of Portugal’s multilateral ODA.
Main recipients of Portuguese ODA