Hungary

Hungary’s development co-operation is based on two pillars: 1) establishing long-lasting, mutually beneficial economic partnerships; and 2) addressing the root causes of migration. As a result, Hungarian development programmes focus on sectors that spur job creation and improve local conditions by addressing the most pressing local needs. The official development assistance (ODA) budget has constantly increased since 2012 – with the exception of a drop in 2017. In line with its stated priorities, bilateral allocations and allocations to civil society organisations (CSOs) and private sector actors are increasing. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary is responsible for the planning, co-ordination and implementation of Hungary’s development co-operation policy.

An OECD-DAC mid-term review of Hungary undertaken in June 2019 commended Hungary for increasing its development assistance budget and improved reporting. The review encouraged Hungary to design and implement a comprehensive strategy that balances short-term and long-term needs, and set up systems that are fit for purpose, especially with regards to co-ordination, local engagement, transparency and evaluation as Hungary continues to mature its bilateral programme. The first comprehensive OECD-DAC peer review is planned for 2021.

In 2019, Hungary adopted a new International Development Cooperation Strategy for the period 2020-25. The strategy is predicated on the two pillars mentioned above. Building on the strengths of Hungary’s public and private sectors, the strategy focuses on promoting, inter alia, access to water and sanitation, healthcare, education, information technology, and sustainable agricultural production and consumption. It places a strong emphasis on supporting least developed countries (LDCs), in particular in Africa.

Hungary provided its highest level of ODA in 2019. Total ODA on a grant-equivalent basis stood at USD 317 million (preliminary data), representing 0.22% of Hungary’s gross national income (GNI) in 2019.1 The increase of 14.5% in real terms from 2018 was due to an overall increase in its development co-operation programme. Hungary ranked 20th among DAC member countries in relation to its ODA/GNI ratio in 2019. The government has committed to achieve a 0.33% ODA/GNI ratio by 2030. Total ODA on a grant-equivalent basis has the same value as net ODA under the cash-flow methodology used in the past, as Hungary provides only grants.2

Hungary’s ODA budget has increased most years since 2010 – with the exception of a drop in 2017. The majority of its ODA is allocated to multilateral organisations, especially to European institutions. However, the share of bilateral ODA grew significantly in 2018, in line with Hungary’s strategy, as the share of ODA channelled through CSOs did too. The vast majority of bilateral aid is programmable in country. See the methodological notes for details on the definitions and statistical methodologies applied.

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In 2018, the largest proportion of Hungary’s ODA (55%) was provided as core contributions to multilateral organisations, including European Union (EU) institutions. Gross bilateral ODA was 45% of total ODA, of which 14% was channelled through multilateral organisations (earmarked contributions).

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In 2018, Hungary increased its total support (core and earmarked contributions) to multilateral organisations. It provided USD 174 million of gross ODA to the multilateral system, an increase of 45.5% in real terms from 2017. Of this, USD 156 million was core multilateral ODA and the rest was earmarked for a specific country, region, theme or purpose. Project aid earmarked for a specific project or purpose (tight earmarking) accounted for 27% of Hungary’s non-core contributions, while the remaining 73% was softly earmarked (to pooled funds and specific-purpose programmes and funds).

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In 2018, Hungary’s total contribution to multilateral organisations was mainly allocated to the EU institutions, the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank Group. These contributions together accounted for more than 96% of Hungary’s total support to the multilateral system. The UN system received 13%, mainly through core contributions. Out of a total gross volume of USD 23 million to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of Hungary’s support (core and earmarked contributions) were: the UN Secretariat (USD 9 million), the UN Department of Peace Operations (USD 4 million) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (USD 3 million).

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Note: See the list of UN acronyms.

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

In 2018, Hungary’s bilateral spending increased compared to the previous year. It provided USD 129 million of gross bilateral ODA (including earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations), which represented an increase of 209% in real terms from 2017 – noting that ODA figures for 2017 were anomalously lower than in previous years.

In 2019, providers of development co-operation started voluntarily reporting to the OECD data on how ODA focuses on the Sustainable Development Goals for 2018 activities. In 2018, Hungary focused most of its bilateral ODA on addressing the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda for education as well as decent work and economic growth.

In 2018, country programmable aid was 91% of Hungary’s gross bilateral ODA, compared to a DAC country average of 49%.

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Note: NGO: non-governmental organisation.

In 2018, Hungary channelled its bilateral ODA mainly through the public sector.

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Note: NGO: non-governmental organisation; PPP: public-private partnership.

In 2018, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 8 million of gross bilateral ODA. Less than 1% was allocated to CSOs as core contributions and 5% was channelled through CSOs to implement projects initiated by Hungary (earmarked funding). Between 2017 and 2018, core and earmarked contributions to CSOs increased as a share of bilateral ODA, from 1% to 6%. Learn more about ODA allocations to and through CSOs and civil society engagement in development co-operation.

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In 2018, Hungary’s bilateral ODA was primarily focused on Asia and Africa. USD 79 million was allocated to Asia – including USD 26 million allocated to Lao People’s Democratic Republic – and USD 25 million to Africa, accounting respectively for 61% and 20% of gross bilateral ODA. USD 15 million was allocated to ODA-eligible countries in Europe. Africa was the main regional recipient of Hungary’s earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations. Five per cent of gross bilateral ODA was unspecified by region in 2018.

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Bilateral ODA by recipient country

In 2018, 57% of gross bilateral ODA went to Hungary’s top 10 recipients. In accordance with its previous development co-operation strategy and the corresponding Action Plan for 2018-2020, Hungary has nine strategic partner countries, located in Africa, the Middle East, Asia/Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans. Four of its priority partners were among its top 10 recipients in 2018. The share of gross bilateral ODA that was not allocated by country was 13%, partly due to expenditure for in-donor refugees.

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In 2018, the LDCs received 22.5% of Hungary’s gross bilateral ODA (USD 29 million). This is below the DAC country average of 23.8% but up from 2017 (11%). Hungary allocated the highest share of gross bilateral ODA (39.5%) to lower middle-income countries in 2018, noting that 13% was unallocated by income group.

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Note: LDC: least developed country; LIC: low-income country; LMIC: lower middle-income country; UMIC: upper middle-income country; MADCTs: more advanced developing countries and territories.

Support to fragile contexts reached USD 52 million of gross bilateral ODA in 2018 (40.6% of gross bilateral ODA). Extremely fragile contexts received 30.9% of this amount. Learn more about support to fragile contexts on the States of Fragility platform.

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Note: The chart represents only gross bilateral ODA that is allocated by country.

In 2018, most of Hungary’s bilateral ODA was allocated to social infrastructure and services. Investments in this area accounted for 79% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 102 million), with a strong focus on education (USD 62.9 million). Bilateral humanitarian aid amounted to USD 7 million (6% of bilateral ODA). Earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations focused also on social infrastructure and services in 2018.

In 2018, Hungary committed USD 12.4 million (9.9% of bilateral allocable aid) to promote aid for trade and improve developing countries’ trade performance and integration into the world economy in 2018.

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In 2018, Hungary did not report against gender equality and women’s empowerment markers. Learn more about ODA focused on gender equality and the DAC Network on Gender Equality.

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In 2018, Hungary committed 32% of its bilateral allocable aid (USD 40 million) in support of the environment as either a principal or significant objective, compared to the DAC country average of 33% (2018 is the first year Hungary reported against the environmental markers). Twenty-eight per cent focused on environmental issues as a principal objective, compared with the DAC country average of 11%. In 2018, Hungary did not report separately against the climate change marker. Learn more about climate-related development finance.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary is responsible for the planning, co-ordination and implementation of Hungary’s development co-operation policy. Other line ministries and government entities also engage in development co-operation activities as implementing and/or financing agencies within their respective spheres of competence and budgets. In 2019, Hungary launched an inter-ministerial platform, called the International Development Co-ordination System. The primary aim of this platform is to synchronize the ministries’ international development co-operation activities and facilitate the exchange of information.

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Development co-operation projects are evaluated and assessed ex post facto depending on budgetary possibilities. In case of limited availability of funds, evaluations or assessments are conducted by missions according to a pre-defined set of criteria which is also used during the selection process. Larger projects may be subject to larger scale evaluations based on the same criteria. All contracts contain provisions requiring the grantee to conduct an evaluation of the project as part of the accounting process. Lessons learnt are collected and stored in a database utilised by the Department for International Development. Learn more about evaluation in Hungary.

Read Hungary’s evaluation plan.

Visit the DAC Evaluation Resource Centre website for evaluations of Hungarian development co-operation.

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

Member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) since 2016.

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 provider’s effort in development loans. See the methodological notes for further details.

← 2. All 2019 statistics in this paragraph are expressed in current prices and, therefore, they may differ from values in the ODA volume chart, which uses constant prices.

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https://doi.org/10.1787/2dcf1367-en

© OECD 2020

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