Finland's development cooperation disbursements in 2019 at EU average level

Finland's development cooperation disbursements in 2019 at EU average level

Finland contributed EUR 1,006 million to development cooperation and, calculated as a proportion of gross national income (GNI), was the ninth largest donor among the EU Member States, representing the EU average. In relation to the previous year, Finland’s development cooperation expenditure rose in real terms by 18.2 per cent, which is more than in any other Member of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its preliminary data for 2019 today, on 16 April 2020. Finland's development cooperation disbursements accounted for 0.42 per cent of its GNI. In 2018, the corresponding figure was 0.35 per cent.

Two principal reasons can be identified for the growth in the amount of expenditure and the share of GNI. Firstly, Finland's development policy investments grew in real terms by EUR 105 million compared to the previous year. Development policy investments were channelled for example via Finnfund. Secondly, due to technical reasons relating to reporting, in-donor refugee and asylum seeker costs (EUR 80 million) grew by approximately EUR 32 million compared to the previous year. The OECD improved transparency in Members’ reporting of in-donor refugee costs, which raised the sum reported by Finland. The actual amount of ODA expenditure in 2019 grew by EUR 173 million compared to 2018.

A significant proportion of Finland’s development cooperation funding was provided through the EU (EUR 223 million) and other multilateral organisations, such as the UN (EUR 223 million) and the World Bank Group (EUR 130 million). In 2019, EUR 85 million was allocated for humanitarian assistance. In 2019, the main recipients of Finland’s bilateral development cooperation funding were Afghanistan (EUR 23 million), Ethiopia (EUR 18 million), Syria (EUR 15 million) and Mozambique (EUR 15 million).

Globally, development cooperation flows in 2019 amounted to USD 152.8 billion (EUR 136 billion), which represented an increase by 1.4 per cent in real terms compared to the previous year. The largest donors were the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and France. From among the OECD DAC Members, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom exceeded the 0.7 per cent target of GNI, set by the UN. DAC Members’ development cooperation expenditure of GNI was 0.30 per cent on average.

EU Member States’ ODA flows amounted to USD 84.5 billion (EUR 75 billion), which corresponds to 55 per cent of all documented ODA and 0.47 per cent of the EU’s GNI. In real terms, the EU’s ODA expenditure rose by 0.5 per cent from 2018. Finland’s share of GNI remained slightly below the average level of the twenty DAC-EU countries.

Of the 18 DAC Members that increased their ODA expenditure, Finland, Austria, Greece and Hungary raised their spending the most. At the same time, ODA expenditure fell in 11 DAC Members, the most in Poland and Portugal. The most common reason for the fall in expenditure was decrease in costs arising from the reception of refugees and asylum seekers.

Preliminary data of the actual disbursements will be updated in the final statistics, for example concerning their allocation to different regions. The share of GNI may change when the revised data published by Statistics Finland are available.


  • Satu Santala, Director General, Department for Development Policy, tel. +358 295 351 815
  • Miikka Paajavuori, Senior Officer, Unit for Administrative and Legal Development Cooperation Matters, tel. +358 295 351 635.