Croatia

Since becoming a provider in 2011, Croatia has grown and diversified its international development co-operation by providing more technical assistance and other non-financial aid. This shift leverages Croatia’s unique experience from its European Union pre-accession process, conflict recovery, democratic transition, and expertise in mine action and humanitarian demining. Croatia’s approach is based on a deep understanding of recipient countries’ needs through inclusive dialogue with stakeholders. Administered by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Croatia’s development co-operation aims to foster political and economic collaboration, especially with its neighbouring countries. Croatia’s total official development assistance (ODA) increased notably in 2023 to USD 147.4 million (preliminary data), representing 0.2% of gross national income (GNI).1 The increase was mainly driven by an increase in in-donor refugee costs.

Find the methodological notes behind the profile here.

Croatia’s development policy is shaped by its size, capacities and comparative advantages based on its historic challenges. In February 2024, Croatia enacted the Law on International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, aligning national law with EU, OECD and UN frameworks. The updated law also expands the entities eligible to implement projects and introduces new financial instruments. Croatia is drafting a National Plan on Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid for 2024-2027, slated for adoption in the second half of 2024. The previous plan (available in the Additional resources) set out the parameters for the country’s development co-operation and humanitarian aid, with the main objective of overcoming poverty and decreasing aid dependence. Through its humanitarian assistance, Croatia focuses on providing short-term support to those affected by crises, emphasising saving lives and protecting livelihoods and health. Alongside traditional channels, Croatia is also increasing financial support to promoting knowledge sharing and mutual learning.

Croatia provided USD 147.4 million (preliminary data) of ODA in 2023 (USD 141.3 million in constant terms) representing 0.2% of GNI. This was an increase of 2.2% in real terms in volume and an increase in the share of GNI from 2022. Croatia has yet to achieve its domestic EU commitment (0.33% by 2030) and international commitment to achieve a 0.7% ODA/GNI ratio. Within Croatia’s ODA portfolio in 2022, 100% was provided in the form of grants.2

Croatia provided a roughly equal share of its ODA bilaterally and through multilateral channels in 2022. Gross bilateral ODA was 53.6% of total ODA disbursements. Eighteen per cent of gross bilateral ODA was channelled through multilateral organisations (earmarked contributions). Croatia allocated 46.4% of total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2023, Croatia provided USD 23.7 million of net bilateral ODA to Ukraine to respond to the impacts of Russia’s war of aggression, a 202.1% increase from 2022 in real terms. USD 1.4 million of the amount was humanitarian assistance in 2023, a 54.6% decrease from 2022.

In 2022, Croatia provided USD 77.1 million of gross ODA to the multilateral system, an increase of 15.4% in real terms from 2021. Of this, USD 64.1 million was core multilateral ODA, while USD 13 million were non-core contributions earmarked for a specific country, region, theme or purpose. Project-type funding earmarked for a specific theme and/or country accounted for 80.5% of Croatia’s non-core contributions and 19.5% was programmatic funding (to pooled funds and specific-purpose programmes and funds).

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

Eighty-seven per cent of Croatia’s total contributions to multilateral organisations in 2022 were allocated to EU Institutions and other multilateral organisations, such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the International Monetary Fund and the Council of Europe.

The UN system received 10.2% of Croatia’s multilateral contributions, of which USD 4.6 million (59.2%) represented earmarked contributions. Out of a total volume of USD 7.9 million to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of Croatia’s support (core and earmarked contributions) were UNDP (USD 4.3 million), UN Secretariat (USD 1.4 million) and WHO (USD 347 thousand).

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

In 2022, Croatia’s bilateral spending increased compared to the previous year. It provided USD 74.1 million of gross bilateral ODA (which includes earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations). This represented an increase of 220.1% in real terms from 2021.

In 2022, country programmable aid was 44.4% of Croatia’s gross bilateral ODA, compared to a non-DAC country average of 47%. In-donor refugee costs were USD 35.9 million in 2022 and represented 48.5% of Croatia’s total gross ODA. For reference, Croatia’s in-donor refugee costs amounted to USD 2 million in 2021.

In 2022, Croatia channelled their bilateral ODA through public sector institutions and, to a lesser extent, multilateral organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

In 2022, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 7.6 million of gross bilateral ODA. Representing 10.3% of Croatia’s gross bilateral ODA, these contributions were primarily channelled through CSOs to implement projects initiated by the donor (earmarked funding). From 2021 to 2022, contributions for CSOs increased as a share of bilateral ODA, from 0.1% to 10.3%. Learn more about the DAC Recommendation on Enabling Civil Society in Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid.

In 2022, Croatia’s bilateral ODA was primarily focused on ODA-eligible countries in Europe and to a lesser extent also Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and Africa . USD 62.9 million was allocated to ODA-eligible countries in Europe (of which 27.6% for Ukraine) and USD 4.9 million to Latin America and the Caribbean, accounting respectively for 84.9% and 6.7% of gross bilateral ODA. USD 2.1 million was allocated to Middle East and USA 1.9 million to Africa.

In 2022, 41% of gross bilateral ODA went to Croatia’s top 10 recipients. Its top 10 recipients are mostly spread over Europe, Central America, the Middle East and Africa. The share of gross bilateral ODA not allocated by country was 58.4%, of which 83% consisted of expenditures for processing and hosting refugees in provider countries.

In 2022, Croatia allocated 0.01% of its GNI to the least developed countries (LDCs). Croatia allocated the highest share of gross bilateral ODA (19.2%) to upper middle-income countries (UMICs) in 2022 and 14.5% to lower middle-income countries (LMICs), noting that 58.4% was unallocated by income group. Additionally, Croatia allocated 1.9% of gross bilateral ODA to land-locked developing countries (LLDCs) in 2022, equal to USD 1.4 million.

Support to fragile contexts reached USD 3 million in 2022, representing 4% of Croatia’s gross bilateral ODA. Ten per cent of this ODA was provided in the form of humanitarian assistance. Learn more about support to fragile contexts on the States of Fragility platform.

In 2022, a majority of Croatia’s bilateral ODA was allocated to social infrastructure and services and refugees in donor countries. Investments in social sectors accounted for 40.3% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 29.9 million) with a strong focus health and population (USD 15.7 million). Croatia committed USD 15.7 million for health and population in 2022, accounting for 21.2% of gross bilateral ODA, and representing an increase of 109.5% from 2019 in real terms. ODA expenditure for refugees in donor countries amounted to USD 35.9 million, representing nearly a half (48.5%) of Croatia’s bilateral ODA in 2022. Humanitarian assistance totalled USD 3.5 million (4.7% of bilateral ODA). Earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations focused also on social sectors in 2022.

In 2022, Croatia disbursed USD 15.3 million in ODA for the COVID-19 response, down from USD 17.1 million in 2021. USD 9.7 million of this ODA was provided in the form of vaccines in 2022, 43% of which bilaterally and 57% through the COVAX Facility.

Total official support for sustainable development is an international statistical standard that monitors all official and officially supported resources for financing the SDGs in developing countries, as well as for addressing global challenges. It provides a broader measure of development finance with the objective of increasing transparency and accountability of all external support that developing countries receive. In 2022, activities reported by Croatia as TOSSD totalled USD 141.1 million, up from USD 93.8 million in 2021, and Croatia’s TOSSD activities in support of sustainable development mostly targeted SDG 4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all and SDG 15 Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. Activity-level data on TOSSD by recipient are available at: https://tossd.online.

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (Directorate-General for Economic Affairs and Development Cooperation, Directorate for Development Cooperation 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, the Ministry of Interior, the Central State Office for Croats Abroad, and others, within the scope of their competencies.

CSOs active in development co-operation and humanitarian assistance co-ordinate under the umbrella body, the Croatian Platform for International Citizen Solidarity (CROSOL).

Government of Croatia, The Act on International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid: https://mvep.gov.hr/UserDocsImages/2024/datoteke/The%20Act%20on%20International%20Development%20Cooperation%20and%20Humanitarian%20Aid_5.4.2024._150513.pdf

Government of Croatia, National Strategy for Development Co-operation for the Period 2017-2021: https://mvep.gov.hr/UserDocsImages//dokumenti/vanjska-politika-docs/razvojna-suradnja//181128-national-strategy-for-development-cooperation-2017-2021-eng.pdf

Croatian Platform for International Citizen Solidarity (CROSOL): https://crosol.hr/en

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

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

In February 2024, Croatia requested to become a Participant of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC). Croatia also participated as Observer in the peer review of Austria in 2015 and will be an Observer in the peer review of Switzerland in 2024/25.

Croatia is an Adherent to the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas; the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas (since 2023); the OECD Recommendation of the Council for Development Co-operation Actors on Managing the Risk of Corruption (since 2023); and the OECD Recommendation of the Council for Development Co-operation Actors on Managing the Risk of Corruption. Learn more about DAC recommendations.

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.

Notes

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

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