Germany is the second-largest development co-operation provider of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). Bilateral co-operation constitutes the bulk of Germany’s official development assistance (ODA), under the overall lead of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), while the Federal Foreign Office oversees humanitarian aid, crisis prevention, stabilisation and peace-building. Germany’s total ODA (USD 35 billion, preliminary data) increased in 2022 due to an increase in in-donor refugee costs and increased contributions to international organisations. It represented 0.83% of gross national income (GNI).

Find the methodological notes behind the profile here.

BMZ’s current thematic priorities are peace, food security, sustainable economy, climate and energy, environmental protection, and health and social security. BMZ aims to shape its work through dedicated policy initiatives, including a feminist development policy, and a focus on digitalisation and protection from climate risks. As part of its BMZ 2030 strategy, Germany refocused its development co-operation towards Africa, reducing the number of partner countries from 85 to 60. Germany is known for its co-operation agencies GIZ and KfW which deliver on government-to-government co-operation.

In its multilateral engagement, the European Union (EU) is one of Germany’s key partners, as Germany provides 21% of the EU’s budget. Effectiveness and adequate resourcing are priorities for its partnership with the United Nations (UN) system. Internationally, Germany promotes global public goods such as global health and the fight against climate change. It also advocates for fair and sustainable globalisation, including in the Group of Seven (G7) and G20. In 2022, Germany held the G7 Presidency and worked to promote food security, a just transition towards net zero energy production and insuring climate risks.

The 2021 OECD-DAC peer review praised Germany for investing in fair and sustainable globalisation and a rules-based multilateral order. It highlighted the country’s broad range of instruments, illustrated by Germany’s leadership in the provision of climate insurance products. The review found that Germany could be more systematic in addressing the spillover effects of its policies on developing countries. It also encouraged greater investment in gender equality and leaving no one behind, and embedding a culture of results. Learn more about Germany’s 2021 OECD-DAC peer review.

Germany provided USD 35 billion (preliminary data) of ODA in 2022 (USD 37.3 billion in constant terms), representing 0.83% of GNI.1 This was an increase of 12% in real terms in volume and an increase in share of GNI from 0.76% in 2021. ODA has steadily increased in volume since 2020. Having reached 0.7% of GNI for the first time in 2016, Germany has surpassed this mark every year since 2020. Germany is delivering on its domestic and EU commitments to collectively achieve a 0.7% ODA/GNI ratio by 2030. Within Germany’s ODA portfolio in 2021, 85.8% was provided in the form of grants and 14.2% in the form of non-grants.2

Germany is the second-largest DAC member in terms of ODA volumes, and the fourth most generous relative to the size of its economy in 2021. Germany provided the bulk of its ODA bilaterally (76.5% in 2021) and had the second highest share of ODA commitments supporting the environment (40% in 2020-21), as well as the second highest share of technical co-operation amongst DAC members (25.7% of total gross ODA in 2021). Germany provides a high share of its ODA to middle-income countries (34%).

Germany is committed to several international targets, Development Assistance Committee standards and recommendations. Learn more about DAC recommendations.

Germany provided a higher share of its ODA bilaterally in 2021. Gross bilateral ODA was 76.5% of total ODA. Twenty-five per cent of gross bilateral ODA was channelled through multilateral organisations (earmarked contributions). Germany allocated 23.5% of total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2022, Germany provided USD 525.8 million of gross bilateral ODA to Ukraine to respond to the impacts of Russia’s war of aggression (preliminary data; humanitarian aid was not yet reported). In 2021 it provided USD 223.7 million.

In 2022, Germany provided USD 2.3 billion in ODA for the COVID-19 response. Regarding COVID-19 vaccines, donations of excess doses to developing countries accounted for USD 177.4 million of ODA. In 2020 and 2021, Germany’s total bilateral support for COVID-19 response was USD 4.3 billion and USD 4.2 billion, respectively.

In 2021, Germany provided USD 15.5 billion of gross ODA to the multilateral system, an increase of 18.1% in real terms from 2020. Of this, USD 8.5 billion was core multilateral ODA, while non-core contributions were earmarked for a specific country, region, theme or purpose. Project-type funding earmarked for a specific theme and/or country accounted for 56.9% of Germany’s non-core contributions and 43.1% was programmatic funding (to pooled funds and specific-purpose programmes and funds).

Sixty-five per cent of Germany’s total contributions to multilateral organisations in 2021 was allocated to EU Institutions and the UN system (in descending order).

The UN system received 39% of Germany’s multilateral contributions, mainly in the form of earmarked contributions. Out of a total volume of USD 6 billion to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of Germany’s support (core and earmarked contributions) were WFP (USD 1.4 billion), UNICEF (USD 908.5 million) and UNDP (USD 701.3 million).

See the section on Geographic and sectoral focus of ODA for the breakdown of bilateral allocations, including ODA earmarked through the multilateral development system. Learn more about multilateral development finance.

In 2021, Germany’s bilateral spending increased compared to the previous year. It provided USD 27.7 billion of gross bilateral ODA (which includes earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations). This represented a decline of 4.8% in real terms from 2020. In 2021, Germany focused most of its bilateral ODA on reducing inequalities, poverty and climate action goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

In 2021, country programmable aid was 38.9% of Germany’s gross bilateral ODA, compared to a DAC country average of 45.2%. In-donor refugee costs were USD 2.7 billion in 2021, a decrease of 2.9% in real terms over 2020, and represented 9.9% of Germany’s gross bilateral ODA.

Germany disbursed USD 7.9 million for triangular co-operation in 2021 and released a new strategy in 2022 to guide its approach. Its regional priority is Asia, with a focus on government & civil society. Learn more about triangular co-operation and specific projects at the OECD’s voluntary triangular co-operation project repository.

In 2021, Germany channelled bilateral ODA mainly through the public sector and multilateral organisations as earmarked funding. Technical co-operation made up 25.7% of gross ODA in 2021.

In 2021, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 2.2 billion of gross bilateral ODA. Three per cent of gross bilateral ODA was allocated to CSOs as core contributions and 5% was channelled through CSOs to implement projects initiated by the donor (earmarked funding). From 2020 to 2021, the combined core and earmarked contributions for CSOs increased as a share of bilateral ODA, from 7.4% to 8%. Learn more about ODA allocations to and through CSOs, civil society engagement in development co-operation, and the DAC Recommendation on Enabling Civil Society in Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid.

In 2021, Germany’s bilateral ODA was focused mainly on Africa and Asia. USD 6.7 billion was allocated to Africa and USD 5.1 billion to Asia (excluding the Middle East), accounting respectively for 24.4% and 18.6% of gross bilateral ODA. USD 2.8 billion (10.2%) was allocated to the Middle East. Asia was the main regional recipient of Germany’s earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2021, 17.5% of gross bilateral ODA went to Germany’s top 10 recipients. Its top 10 recipients are primarily middle-income countries in all regions of the world. The share of gross bilateral ODA that was not allocated by country was 50.4%, with 19.6% of this unallocated bilateral ODA spent on refugees in the donor country.

In 2021, the least developed countries (LDCs) received 13.1% of Germany’s gross bilateral ODA (USD 3.6 billion). This is lower than the DAC average of 22.9%. Germany allocated the highest share of gross bilateral ODA (10%) to lower middle-income countries in 2021, noting that 50.4% was unallocated by income group. Within bilateral ODA that was unallocated, Germany estimates that more than 10% was directed to the LDCs. Germany allocated 7.9% of gross bilateral ODA to land-locked developing countries in 2021, equal to USD 2.2 billion. Germany allocated 0.1% of gross bilateral ODA to small island developing states (SIDS) in 2021, equal to USD 35.1 million.

Support to fragile contexts reached USD 5.6 billion in 2021, representing 20.1% of Germany’s gross bilateral ODA. Twenty-five per cent of this ODA was provided in the form of humanitarian assistance, decreasing slightly from 25.6% in 2020, while 13.6% was allocated to peace, a small increase from 13% in 2020. Seven per cent went to conflict prevention, a subset of contributions to peace, a slight increase from 6.3% in 2020.

Learn more about support to fragile contexts on the States of Fragility platform.

In 2021, just under a half of Germany’s bilateral ODA was allocated to social infrastructure and services. Investments in this area accounted for 43% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 13.5 billion), with a strong focus on support to education (USD 4 billion), government and civil society (USD 3.7 billion) and health (USD 3.5 billion). ODA for economic infrastructure and services totalled 15.7% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 4.9 billion), focusing on energy (USD 1.7 billion), banking and financial services (USD 1.5 billion) and business (USD 799.5 million). Bilateral humanitarian assistance amounted to USD 3 billion (9.6% of bilateral ODA). In 2021, earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations focused on emergency response, health and education.

In 2020-21, Germany committed 44.6% of its screened bilateral allocable aid to gender equality and women’s empowerment, as either a principal or significant objective (up from 42.5% in 2018-19, compared with the 2020-21 DAC average of 44.4%). This is equal to USD 11.2 billion of bilateral ODA in support of gender equality. The share of screened bilateral allocable aid committed to gender equality and women’s empowerment as a principal objective was 2.4% in 2020-21, compared with the DAC average of 4.5%. Germany includes gender equality objectives in 3.7% of its ODA for humanitarian aid, compared with the 2020-21 DAC average of 17.5%. Germany screens virtually all activities against the DAC gender equality policy marker (99.4% in 2020-21). Germany committed USD 43.3 million of ODA to end violence against women and girls in 2020-21 and USD 45.9 million to support women’s rights organisations and movements and government institutions in 2020-21. Learn more about ODA focused on gender equality, the DAC Network on Gender Equality and the DAC Recommendation on Ending Sexual Exploitation in Development Co-operation.

In 2020-21, Germany committed 40% of its total bilateral allocable aid (USD 10.1 billion) in support of the environment and the Rio Conventions (DAC average of 34.3%), down from 49.3% in 2018-19. Unpacking the environmental data further:

  • Eleven per cent of screened bilateral allocable aid focused on environmental issues as a principal objective, compared with the DAC average of 11.3%.

  • Thirty-three per cent of total bilateral allocable aid (USD 8.4 billion) focused on climate change overall (the DAC average was 29%), down from 42.2% in 2018-19. Germany had a greater focus on mitigation (22.1%) than on adaptation (19.7%) in 2020-21.

  • Ten per cent of total bilateral allocable aid (USD 2.5 billion) focused on biodiversity (compared with the DAC average of 6.5%), down from 10.1% in 2018-19.

Learn more about climate-related development finance and the DAC Declaration on Aligning Development Co-operation with the Goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The OECD initiative Sustainable Oceans for All shows that Germany committed USD 212.2 million in support of the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean in 2021, up from USD 167.3 million in 2020. The 2021 value is equivalent to 0.8% of Germany’s bilateral allocable aid. Learn more about development co-operation in support of a sustainable ocean economy and the data platform on development finance for a sustainable ocean economy.

In 2021, Germany also:

  • Committed USD 217.6 million of bilateral ODA to the mobilisation of domestic resources in developing countries, amounting to 0.9% of its bilateral allocable aid. Regarding the payment of local tax and custom duties for ODA-funded goods and services, Germany requests exemptions sometimes and makes this information available on the OECD Digital Transparency Hub on the Tax Treatment of ODA.

  • Committed USD 7.3 billion (28.9% of its bilateral allocable aid) to promote aid for trade and improve developing countries’ trade performance and integration into the world economy in 2021. Germany is among the top 10 official providers of aid for trade globally.

Germany uses leveraging mechanisms to mobilise private finance for sustainable development. In 2021, BMZ, KfW, the Germany’s DFI the German Investment and Development Corporation (DEG), as well as to some extent the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUV) mobilised USD 426.4 million from the private sector through direct investment in companies and special purpose vehicles, syndicated loans, shares in collective investment vehicles, credit lines, and simple co-financing.

In 2020-21, 63.5% of mobilised private finance by Germany targeted middle-income countries and 7.5% LDCs and other low-income countries (LICs), noting that 28.9% was unallocated by income. During the same period, the top beneficiary region of this financing was Africa (48.1% of the total).

Mobilised private finance by Germany in 2020-21 mainly benefited activities in the banking & financial services (40.8%), energy (22.6%) and health (13.1%) sectors. Furthermore, over this period, 40.2% of Germany’s total mobilised private finance was for climate action.

Learn more about the amounts mobilised from the private sector for development.

In 2021, Germany’s DFI German Investment Corporation (DEG), Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and to some extent also Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUV) extended USD 2.2 billion in the form of private sector instruments. Of this, loans represented 46% whereas equities accounted for 54%.

In 2021, USD 73.4 million (3.4%) of Germany’s private sector instruments were allocated to the LDCs and other LICs, with 49% received by middle-income countries and UMICs in particular (34%). Moreover, USD 1 billion were unallocated by income, mostly including equity investments with a regional focus.

Top three recipients included Brazil, Mexico and China (People’s Republic of), together accounting for 14.8% of Germany’s private sector instruments to developing countries in 2021.

In terms of sectoral distribution, 56.3% of Germany’s private sector instruments were extended in support of projects in the banking and financial services, followed by industry, mining, construction (21.3%) and energy (7.9%). Health, education and other social sectors received USD 30.2 million through private sector instruments. A share of 7.5% of this financing focused on climate change mitigation and/or adaptation.

BMZ co-ordinates Germany’s development co-operation policy and oversees a large part of its ODA. A number of other federal ministries also manage ODA resources, including the Federal Foreign Office, which oversees humanitarian assistance, as well as crisis prevention, stabilisation and peace-building. Germany has two main implementing agencies: GIZ for technical co-operation; and KfW for financial co-operation, comprising KfW Development Bank and the DEG (development finance institution). A number of federal states and municipalities also provide development co-operation. A dedicated Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development provides parliamentary oversight. The Federal Court of Audit regularly assesses aspects of development co-operation, such as evaluations in 2021.

BMZ has approximately 1 300 staff working on development co‐operation, plus 130 staff seconded to international organisations and the Federal Foreign Office and serving at Embassies in partner countries. In addition, a number of Federal Foreign Office staff manages ODA funds, with the majority working in the Directorate General for Crisis Prevention, Stabilisation, Peace Building and Humanitarian Aid at headquarters, embassies, and permanent representations worldwide. GIZ has approximately 7 600 international staff working on development, plus 17 800 locally hired staff. KfW has approximately 7 000 staff including staff serving abroad.

The agency Engagement Global provides advice to civil society, private sector actors, local authorities and individuals who want to engage in development co-operation. CSOs active in development co-operation, humanitarian assistance and global citizenship education co-ordinate through the umbrella body VENRO.

Internal systems and processes help ensure the effective delivery of Germany’s development co-operation. Select features are shown in the table below.

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation monitoring exercise tracks the implementation of the effectiveness commitments. Following a reform of the exercise during 2020-22, the 4th global monitoring round (2023-26) has resumed. More detailed results for Germany based on the 2016 and 2018 Monitoring Rounds can be found here. Monitoring profiles for other providers are available here.

2021 OECD-DAC peer review of Germany:

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH:

Federal Foreign Office (AA):

Federal Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development (BMZ):

KfW Development Bank:

CSO platform Verband Entwicklungspolitik und humanitäre Hilfe (VENRO):

Engagement Global (Service für Entwicklungsinitiativen):

Germany’s practices on the Development Co-operation TIPs: Tools Insights Practices learning platform:

Member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) since 1960.

The methodological notes provide further details on the definitions and statistical methodologies applied, including the grant-equivalent methodology, core and earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, country programmable aid, channels of delivery, bilateral ODA unspecified/unallocated, bilateral allocable aid, the gender equality policy marker, and the environment markers.


← 1. DAC members adopted the grant-equivalent methodology starting from their reporting of 2019 data as a more accurate way to count the donor effort in development loans. See the methodological notes for further details.

← 2. Non-grants include sovereign loans, multilateral loans, equity investment and loans to the private sector.

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