Give until it hurts

Sorry Sweden, Luxembourg is now the most generous country in the world

January 13, 2014
January 13, 2014

That’s according to a recent update to data on official development assistance offered by the nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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Luxembourg is better known as a secretive tax haven—along with places like the Cayman Islands and Switzerland—than as a leading source of development aid. But it has overtaken Scandinavian nations Sweden, Denmark ,and Norway, which are well-known as generous development donors.

In 2011, Sweden was the most generous donor, according to the OECD’s key metric, which is official development assistance as a share of gross national income. But Luxembourg overtook Sweden this year, thanks to a rise in bilateral grants. As part of a government plan, Luxembourg had made a commitment to keep its development assistance as a share of national income at around 1%.

The three top recipients of aid from Luxembourg are the African nations of Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal. Here’s a look at the 2012 OECD numbers:

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For the record, the OECD’s determination of generosity rests on the aforementioned aid-to-gross national income metric. But in terms of raw dollar giving ,the US is still the biggest source of development aid in the world. The US shelled out $31 billion in development aid in 2012, with top recipients being Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. By comparison, Luxembourg donated $399 million. On the other hand, the US doesn’t dig too deep in its big pockets, giving just 0.2% of national income in official aid.

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