‘Worrying Trend’ as Aid Money Stays in Wealthiest Countries

Critics claim continued rise in global aid masks alarming trend as donor countries include cost of hosting refugees in their figures

By Hannah Summers

Global aid has reached a peak, according to figures released on Tuesday – but experts say “genuine” aid to the world’s poorest places has not risen, with much of the extra cash staying in Europe and rich countries elsewhere to cover the costs of the refugee crisis.

Development aid from 29 of the world’s wealthiest countries hit $142.6bn (£114bn) in 2016, a 9% increase from 2015. According to statistics published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, almost 2% of this rise remained in donor countries, including EU states, to deal with the cost of hosting refugees, which has surged by 27.5% since 2015 to reach $15.4bn.

The data also shows that aid to the least developed countries fell by 3.9% from 2015, with aid to Africa down by 0.5%.

Image: Migrants wait to be transported to a registration centre in Berlin in 2015. The amount Germany spends on hosting refugees doubled last year. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

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