: Guardian: Hosting refugees now uses 9% of foreign aid budgets

12:39 Apr. 13, 2016

Guardian: Hosting refugees now uses 9% of foreign aid budgets

Migrant people sit and drink tea at the northern Greek border point of Idomeni, Greece, April 13, 2016 (AP Photo)

Surge in aid from many European countries driven by expenditure on looking after refugees at home, where spending has nearly doubled

The amount of foreign aid money rich nations spend on dealing with the impact of the refugee crisis at home has almost doubled over the past year and now accounts for 9% of all development expenditure, according to the latest official figures.

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The preliminary statistics, from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), show that wealthy donor countries spent a net total of 1.6bn (£92.5bn) on aid in 2015, compared with 5.2bn the previous year. Of that, bn went on domestic spending – or "in-donor refugee costs", up from .6bn in 2014.

Many of the European countries most affected by the mass migration of people recorded surges in their official development assistance (ODA) in 2015: Greece's aid spending rose by 38.7%; Sweden's by 36.8%; Germany's by 25.9%; the Netherlands' by 24.4%, and Austria's by 15.4%. The OECD says that all these rises, to greater or lesser extents, were caused by growing in-donor refugee costs.

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Official development assistance from DAC-EU countries increased 12.7% in real terms in 2015.

According to the organisation, members of its development assistance committee (DAC) spent 6.9% more in real terms in 2015 than they did the previous year, making it "the highest level ever achieved for net ODA". It said ODA as a share of gross national income was 0.3%, putting it on a par with 2013, when aid reached a record, real terms high of 5.1bn.

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However, the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) said the latest figures had been "dramatically inflated" by the diversion of aid to cover the domestic costs of the refugee crisis.

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