Having become an official provider of development co-operation in 2004, Lithuania carries out continuous and effective development co-operation activities aimed at contributing to the implementation of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), giving priority to poverty reduction, quality education, gender equality, mitigation of impacts of climate change, peace and justice, effective institutions, and partnerships for the implementation of the SDGs. Lithuania’s development co-operation, as an integral part of its foreign policy, is concentrated on the European Union’s (EU) Eastern Partnership, as well as countries of migration origin and transit. It aims to share the lessons of its own transition experience with partner countries. Lithuania’s volume of official development assistance (ODA) has consistently increased in recent years, and its development co-operation is mainly disbursed through multilateral channels.

Total ODA (USD 83.3 million, preliminary data) increased slightly in 2021, representing 0.13% of gross national income (GNI).

Find the methodological notes behind the profile here.

The Law on Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, adopted in 2013 and updated in 2016 and 2020, provides the overarching framework for Lithuania’s development co-operation. The latest amendments to the law envisage a more inclusive approach that would allow greater engagement of relevant stakeholders (NGOs and the private sector). It also sets out a more flexible, responsive and results-oriented delivery of bilateral aid by establishing a dedicated trust fund that aims to create conditions to implement large-scale and value-added projects and programmes.

The overarching goal of the ongoing strategic policy review process is to contribute to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, with the following specific objectives: ensuring peace, promoting global economic growth and social stability, reducing disparities between developed and developing countries, and integrating developing countries into the global economy. The implementation of the national development co-operation policy in the medium term is based on the Strategic Directions for Development Cooperation 2022-2025. It is also based on the core principles of partner country ownership, solidarity, efficiency, transparency and responsibility, co-ordination and complementarity, and policy coherence. The new legal framework should provide conditions and incentives for stronger and more efficient national development co-operation policy. The biggest part of Lithuania’s ODA is disbursed through multilateral organisations (European Commission, United Nations, World Bank etc.), in line with its international obligations and policy focus. For bilateral programming, key sectors include education, governance and civil society.

Lithuania is an Adherent to the OECD Recommendation of the Council for Development Co-operation Actors on Managing the Risk of Corruption, the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Environmental Assessment of Development Assistance Projects and Programmes, the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development, and the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Due Diligence Guidence for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. Learn more about DAC standards.

Lithuania provided USD 83.3 million (preliminary data) of ODA in 2021,1 representing 0.13% of GNI. This was an increase of 10.7% in real terms in volume and the same share of GNI as in 2020. Lithuania has committed to achieving a 0.33% ODA/GNI ratio by 2030. Lithuania’s ODA volume has consistently increased in recent years. Lithuania provided all of its ODA as grants in 2020.2

Lithuania provided a higher share of its ODA multilaterally in 2020. Gross bilateral ODA was 16.5% of total ODA. The share of gross bilateral ODA channelled through multilateral organisations (earmarked contributions) was 12.8%. Lithuania allocated 83.5% of total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2020, Lithuania provided USD 1 million of gross bilateral ODA for the COVID-19 response, representing 8.6% of its total gross bilateral ODA.

In 2020, Lithuania provided USD 61.6 million of gross ODA to the multilateral system, an increase of 4.2% in real terms from 2019. Of this, USD 60.1 million was core multilateral ODA, while non-core contributions were earmarked for a specific country, region, theme or purpose.

Ninety-nine per cent of Lithuania’s total contribution to multilateral organisations in 2020 was allocated to European Union institutions (89,5%), the World Bank Group (5%) and United Nations (UN) entities (4.4%).

The UN system received 4.7% of Lithuania’s gross ODA to the multilateral system, mainly through core contributions. Out of a total of USD 2.9 million to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of Lithuania’s support (core and earmarked contributions) were: the UN Secretariat (USD 968 900), WHO (USD 291 600) and the FAO (USD 291 300).

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, Lithuania’s bilateral spending declined compared to the previous year. It provided USD 11.9 million of gross bilateral ODA (which includes earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations). This represented a decrease of 4.1% in real terms from 2019. In 2020, Lithuania focused most of its bilateral ODA on addressing the quality education; gender equality; and peace, justice and strong institutions goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

In 2020, country programmable aid was 53.2% of Lithuania’s gross bilateral ODA, compared with the average of countries that report to the OECD of 47.8%.

In 2020, Lithuania channelled bilateral ODA mainly through the public sector and universities, research institutes and think tanks, as earmarked funding.

In 2020, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 1.2 million of gross bilateral ODA. A share of 1.7% of gross bilateral ODA was allocated to CSOs as core contributions and 8.6% was channelled through CSOs to implement projects initiated by the donor (earmarked funding). From 2019 to 2020, the combined core and earmarked contributions for CSOs increased as a share of bilateral ODA, from 7.3% to 10.3%. 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 2020, Lithuania’s bilateral ODA was primarily focused on Europe and Asia. USD 5.7 million was allocated to ODA-eligible countries in Europe and USD 1.9 million to Asia, accounting respectively for 48.2% and 15.8% of gross bilateral ODA. A further USD 400 000 was allocated to Africa, accounting for 3.7% of gross bilateral ODA. Europe was also the main regional recipient of Lithuania’s earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, in line with the policy priorities of its overall strategy.

In 2020, 59.9% of gross bilateral ODA went to Lithuania’s top 10 recipients. Its top 10 recipients are in Africa, Asia and Europe, 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 32.6%, mainly including administrative costs and support to refugees and asylum seekers in donor countries.

In 2020, least developed countries received 3.9% of Lithuania’s gross bilateral ODA (USD 458 000). Lithuania allocated the highest share of gross bilateral ODA (36.2%) to lower middle-income countries in 2020, and 32.6% was unallocated by income group.

Support to fragile contexts reached USD 800 000 in 2020, representing 7% of Lithuania’s gross bilateral ODA.

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

In 2020, almost half of Lithuania’s bilateral ODA was allocated to social infrastructure and services. Investments in this area accounted for 44.5% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 5.3 million), with a strong focus on support to education (USD 3.6 million) and government and civil society (USD 1.4 million). ODA for economic infrastructure and services totalled USD 1 million, with a focus on energy. Bilateral humanitarian assistance amounted to USD 2 million (16.6% of bilateral ODA). Earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations focused also on social and economic infrastructure and services in 2020.

In 2020, Lithuania committed 28.3% of its screened bilateral allocable aid to gender equality and women’s empowerment, as either a principal or significant objective (down from 68.3% in 2019).3 This is equal to USD 2.5 million 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 2.7%. A significantly higher share of interventions on government and civil society, education, health, and other sectors address gender equality than those on economic infrastructure. Lithuania screens virtually all activities against the DAC gender equality policy marker (100% in 2020).

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, Lithuania committed 23.9% of its total bilateral allocable aid (USD 2.1 million) in support of the environment and the Rio Convention. 10.9% of screened bilateral allocable aid in 2020 focused on environmental issues as a principal objective, compared with the average of countries that report to the OECD, of 10.8%. Eleven per cent of total bilateral allocable aid (USD 1 million) focused on climate change overall (the reporting countries’ average was 34%). Lithuania had a greater focus on mitigation (11%) than on adaptation (10.6%) in 2020.

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 Law on Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid, adopted in 2013 and updated in 2016 and 2020, provides the framework for Lithuania’s development co-operation policy. It also outlines its mission, goals, principles, priorities, responsibilities and financing. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for implementing and co-ordinating Lithuania’s development co-operation. It actively encourages national and municipal authorities and bodies, non-governmental organisations, and the private sector to take a more substantial role in implementing the 2030 Agenda in partner countries. In 2017, to improve the quality and effectiveness of its ODA, project management functions were partly transferred from the ministry to the Central Project Management Agency to develop gradually into a full-fledged Lithuanian Development Co-operation Agency. In 2017, representatives of business associations were also incorporated into the National Development Co-operation Commission, which plays a crucial role in ensuring policy coherence for development. Twenty-seven governmental bodies, other public institutions, private sector organisations and CSOs have committed to implement development-related actions and allocate funds for development co-operation.

Explore the Monitoring Dashboard of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation.

Member of the OECD since 2018. In March 2022 Lithuania filled up a formal application for OECD DAC membership. Reporting to the OECD since 2001 and reporting activity-level data since 2015 on 2014 activities.

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.

← 3. The use of the recommended minimum criteria for the marker by some members in recent years can result in lower levels of aid reported as being focused on gender equality.

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