How much extra aid has been pledged during 2005?

In my recent paper looking at progress so far on the development agenda in 2005, I promised to come back to the question of how much additional aid has been pledged during the "year of development".

The UN Millennium Project Report (Investing in Development) estimates in Table 8 that an additional $50 billion a year will be needed by 2010 to reach the Millennium Development Goals.

The UK government has claimed that:

The agreement at Gleneagles went a very long way to achieving what the Commission [for Africa] recommends. Extra money from the United States and Japan will be added to Europe’s commitment to reach the UN’s target of providing 0.7% of national income for development by 2015. This will release an extra $50 billion a year to poor countries by 2010, $25 billion of which will go to Africa, more than doubling aid to Africa compared to 2004.

By contrast, Oxfam has said that commitments made by the G8 during 2005 may add only about $16 billion to the global aid budget by 2010 over and above existing trends. 

So who is right?  I don’t agree with either, but Oxfam was pretty close.  According to my detailed estimates, the increase in aid promised for 2010 is less than $14 billion a year compared to what was already pledged.

My calculation uses figures from the OECD/DAC, by comparing projections made after Gleneagles with the projections based on pledges that had been made up to 2004.  I tried to be generous, by making relatively pessimistic assumptions about what would have happened in 2010 without the additional pledges made in 2005 (which were mainly the commitments by EU Governments at their meeting on 24 May 2005).  You can see the calculation here.

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