Since becoming a development co-operation provider in 2011, Croatia has aimed to share the experience of its war and post-war transition to benefit countries facing similar challenges. Based in the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Croatia sees its development co-operation as an enabler of more comprehensive political and economic co-operation. This co-operation has expanded over recent years, with an increase in the volume of Croatia’s development assistance. Croatia is increasingly diversifying its development co-operation toolbox, moving away from traditional forms of support (i.e. inter-institutional official development assistance [ODA]) towards technical assistance and other non-financial forms of support that encourage knowledge sharing. Total ODA (USD 94.4 million, preliminary data) increased in 2021, representing 0.15% of gross national income (GNI).

Find the methodological notes behind the profile here.

Croatia’s global development policy framework is determined by its size, capacities and challenges, as well as a post-war transition experience that constitutes its key comparative advantage. This is underpinned by its Law on Development Co-operation and External Humanitarian Assistance, adopted in 2008, which provides the legal basis for its development co-operation. The National Strategy for Development Cooperation of the Republic of Croatia for the period from 2017-2021 sets out the basic parameters for the country’s development co-operation and humanitarian aid, with a core objective of overcoming poverty and decreasing aid dependence. The new National Plan on Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid for the period 2022-2026 is to be adopted following by planned amendments to the aforementioned Law adopted in 2008. Through its humanitarian assistance, Croatia aims to provide short-term and urgent support to those affected by natural disasters and other crises, concentrating on saving lives and health. In addition to multilateral and bilateral channels, Croatia is increasing non-financial forms of support to encourage knowledge sharing and mutual learning.

Croatia provided USD 94.4 million (preliminary data) as ODA in 20211, representing 0.15% of GNI. This was an increase of 15.8% in real terms in volume and an increase in the share of GNI from 2020. The government has committed to strive to achieve a 0.33% ODA/GNI ratio by 2030 as part of the European Union’s (EU) collective commitment to achieve a 0.7% ODA/GNI target by 2030. Croatia provided all of its ODA as grants in 2020.2

Croatia provided a higher share of its ODA multilaterally in 2020. Gross bilateral ODA was 25.1% of total ODA. The share of gross bilateral ODA channelled through multilateral organisations (earmarked contributions) was 20.9%. Croatia allocated 74.9% of total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2020, Croatia provided USD 7.8 million of gross bilateral ODA for the COVID-19 response, representing 40.4% of its total gross bilateral ODA. Thirty-four per cent of total gross bilateral ODA was provided as health expenditure within the COVID-19 response.

In 2020, Croatia provided USD 61.7 million of gross ODA to the multilateral system, an increase of 10.9% in real terms from 2019. Of this, USD 57.7 million was core multilateral ODA, while non-core contributions were earmarked for a specific country, region, theme or purpose.

Ninety-nine per cent of Croatia’s total contribution to multilateral organisations in 2020 was allocated to EU institutions (84.9%), United Nations (UN) entities (8.8%) and the World Bank Group (4.9%).

The UN system received 8.8% of Croatia’s gross ODA to the multilateral system, half of which was through core contributions. Out of a total volume of USD 5.4 million to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of Croatia’s support (core and earmarked contributions) were: the UNDP (USD 1.2 million), WHO (USD 1.1 million) and the UN Secretariat (USD 1 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 2020, Croatia’s bilateral spending declined compared to the previous year. It provided USD 19.3 million as gross bilateral ODA (which includes earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations). This represented a decrease of 7.6% in real terms from 2019.

In 2020, country programmable aid was 66.1% of Croatia’s gross bilateral ODA, compared to the reporting countries’ average of 47.8%. In-donor refugee costs were USD 2.4 million in 2020, an increase of 70.6% in real terms over 2019, and represented 3.1% of Croatia’s total gross ODA.

In 2020, Croatia channelled bilateral ODA mainly through the public sector and multilateral organisations, as earmarked funding.

In 2020, Croatia’s bilateral ODA was primarily focused on Europe. USD 15.1 million was allocated to ODA-eligible countries in Europe and USD 1 million to the Middle East, accounting respectively for 77.9% and 5.2% of gross bilateral ODA. Europe was also the main regional recipient of Croatia’s earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, in line with the policy priorities of its overall strategy.

In 2020, 79.1% of gross bilateral ODA went to Croatia’s top 10 recipients. Its top 10 recipients are in Europe and the Middle East, in line with its focus on its immediate neighbourhood and its policy priorities. The share of gross bilateral ODA that was not allocated by country was 20.6%.

In 2020, more than half of Croatia’s bilateral ODA was allocated to social infrastructure and services. Investments in this area accounted for 71.1% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 13.7 million), with a strong focus on support for health and population policies (USD 9 million), education (USD 2.5 million), and other social infrastructure and services (USD 2.1 million). ODA for bilateral humanitarian assistance amounted to USD 2.8 million (14.3% of bilateral ODA). Other sectors amounted to USD 2.6 million. Earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations focused primarily on humanitarian assistance and social infrastructure and services in 2020.

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (Directorate for Economic Affairs and Development Co-operation, Directorate for Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid) is the key institution engaged in development co-operation, co-ordination and policy-making processes. It implements development projects, along with other line ministries, such as the Ministry of Health and the Central State Office for Croats Abroad, within the scope of their competencies.

Government of Croatia, National Strategy for Development Co-operation for the Period 2017-2021:

Reporting to the OECD since 2012 and reporting activity-level data since 2018 on 2017 activities.

On 25 January 2022, the OECD Council decided to open accession discussions with Croatia as well as five other countries, taking into account the criteria of like-mindedness, significant player, mutual benefit and global considerations and recognising the progress made by these countries toward fulfilling the criteria outlined in the Framework for Consideration of Prospective Members.

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 2018 data as a more accurate way to count the donor effort in development loans. See the methodological notes for further details.

← 2. Other providers also provide non-grants, which include sovereign loans, multilateral loans, equity investment and loans to the private sector.

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