I. Luxembourg’s official development assistance in 2014

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The story of official development assistance

The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the resolution 2626 on 24 October 1970, at its 25th session. This resolution confirmed that “the primary responsibility for developing countries growth rests upon themselves”, emphasising that “however great their own efforts, these will not be sufficient to enable them to achieve the desired development goals as expeditiously as they must unless developed countries procure them assistence through increased financial resources and adopt more favourable economic and commercial policies for them.” The “official development assistance” to be supplied by each economically advanced country was set at “a minimum net amount of 0,7 per cent of its gross national product at market prices.”

Initially, Luxembourg’s official development assistance grew slowly but steadily: its proportion of gross national product (GNP) increased from 0,10% in 1981 to 0,28% in 1991 (1,262 billion Luxembourg francs).

On 31 July 1991, the government council set the objective of 0,35% of GNP by 1995. This objective was achieved in 1996, with disbursements of 2,554 billion Luxembourg francs (0,43% of GNP).

Meanwhile, at the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, Prime Minister Jacques Santer formally announced Luxembourg’s desire to go further than this and achieve 0,7% of GNP by the year 2000.

This objective was confirmed on the formation of a new government in 1994. In view of the continued growth in official development assistance – increasing from 0,31% of GNP in 1994 to 0,62% in 1998 – it was decided on the formation of the government in 1999 to set an objective of 0,7% in 2000, then to increase this aid with a view to approaching 1% by the end of its term.

The first objective was achieved as planned in 2000: with a total of over 5,382 billion Luxembourg francs (€133,433 million), Luxembourg achieved for the first time the target of 0,7% of gross national income (GNI), and became one of the top five donor countries in the world in percentage terms. Subsequent years confirmed this commitment, with ODA never falling below this threshold.

In 2009, Luxembourg’s official assistance exceeded the target of 1% of GNI for the first time, with disbursements of €297,817 million (1,11% of GNI).