International Development Assistance from Greece: Reduced sources and common opinion

The economic crisis had a significant and negative impact on Greece’s development aid to developing countries, but also on public support for it, although the refugee crisis seems to reverse the trends of previous years.

Greece’s ODA (Greece’s ODA) has been greatly affected by the economic crisis. In 2014, the aid rate was 0.11% of the GNI, ranking the 26th among the OECD donors (and 24th in volume). In 2015, the rate was fairly increased to 0.14% of the GNI (21st), mainly due to assistance to refugees. However, the aid granted by Greece has been reduced by almost 50% compared to 2008. Only 18% of Greek aid is bilateral compared to 73% of the OECD average. This means that much of Greek aid consists of compulsory contributions to international organizations (European Development Fund) and is not a voluntary contribution of the country to international development.

The main recipients of bilateral Greek aid in 2012-3 were Albania ($ 20.8 million), the Palestinian territories (West Bank and Gaza) (3 million) and Ukraine (2.6 million). Overall, Greek aid for 2015 was $ 282 million – but only 0.1 million was allocated to or through Non-Governmental Organizations. This represents a fairly large reduction compared to the 2008-9 period. In other words and unlike most donor countries, Greece did not allocate a significant proportion of its bilateral aid to NGOs. In 2010-11 Greece provided the smallest percentage of its bilateral development aid to or through NGOs from all OECD countries.

Common opinion
The percentage of Greeks who consider that tackling poverty in the world must be one of the main priorities of the national government is significantly lower than the EU average (36% vs. 50%) and represents the largest decline in Europe. Only 53% of respondents replied that EU development aid should be increased (compared with 68% in the EU).

Also, three out of ten respondents in Greece are aware of the UN’s Sustainable Development Targets (30%), a slightly lower percentage than the rest of the Europeans (36%).

Perhaps one of the few positive findings of the survey for Greece is that younger respondents (15-24 years old) generally have a more positive attitude and opinion on development aid compared to older respondents (25 years and over). The above figures show that Greek public opinion is not well informed about development aid.

Asteris Chouliaras,
Univeristy of Peloponnese &
Chairman of HIGGS Advisory Board

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