International aid

Aid stagnates

Rohingya Muslims gather behind Myanmar"s border
AFP

Rich nations spent more on helping poor countries last year but less on refugees at home, leading to stagnation in overall aid expenditure, according to the Organisation for Cooperation and Development.

Figures released on Monday showed that official development assistance was $146.6bn, down 0.6% on 2016. The slight decrease was due mainly to a near 14% drop in the amount spent on hosting and processing migrants and refugees in rich countries, which cost a total of $14.2bn in 2017, the Paris-based think tank said.

ODA excluding refugee costs rose about 1%. Bilateral aid to the world's poorest countries climbed 4% to $26bn after years of decline, while humanitarian aid rose by 6.1% to $15.5bn.

Only five of the 29 members of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee - Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and Britain - met the United Nations' target of spending 0.7% of national income on development aid.