Austria’s development co-operation policy prioritises poverty reduction, peace and human security, and preserving the environment. Geographically it focuses on nine priority partner countries – particularly in South East and Eastern Europe and sub-Saharan Africa – and four priority regions (Western Balkans, West Africa and Sahel, East and Horn of Africa, and southern Africa). Austria’s total official development assistance (ODA) (USD 1.9 billion, preliminary data) increased in 2022 due to an increase in in-donor refugee costs. It represented 0.39% of gross national income (GNI).

Find the methodological notes behind the profile here.

The Federal Act on Development Co-operation (2003) defines Austria’s three main development co-operation objectives as poverty eradication, ensuring peace and human security, and preserving the environment. In November 2022, the Austrian government approved the Three-year Programme for Austrian Development Policy (2022-24), which reflects these objectives, prioritising meeting basic needs to eradicate poverty, promoting peace and security, and protecting and preserving the environment and natural resources. It also defines nine priority countries and four priority regions for Austrian Development Cooperation.

Austria channels most of its support to multilateral organisations, with its allocations to international financial institutions guided by the Ministry of Finance’s Strategic Guidelines. Austria also has a strong tradition of supporting conflict prevention and nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament, arms control and the rule of law as foreign policy priorities. These priorities are evident in Austria’s leadership in its immediate neighbourhood – South East Europe – where it plays an important role in promoting regional and European integration. Austria also seeks to promote peace and security in its engagement within the European Union (EU).

Austria’s mid-term review was conducted in February 2023. It welcomed the government’s adoption of the 2022-24 Three-year Programme for Austrian Development Policy as a step towards a more co-ordinated approach but noted that further work is needed to make it a whole-of-government strategy. It also praised Austria’s successful efforts to mobilise additional resources for humanitarian assistance. The review finally encouraged Austria to continue working towards strengthening the coherence, co-ordination, visibility and accountability of its development co-operation and humanitarian efforts. Learn more about Austria’s 2023 mid-term review[and 2020 peer review.

Austria provided USD 1.9 billion (preliminary data) of ODA in 2022 (USD 2 billion in constant terms), representing 0.39% of GNI.1 This was an increase of 36.2% in real terms in volume and an increase in share of GNI compared to 0.31% in 2021. ODA volume has been increasing since 2018, although it is still below 2015-16 levels, when Austria reported higher levels of in-donor refugee costs. Austria is not in line with its domestic, international, and EU commitments to collectively achieve a 0.7% ODA/GNI ratio by 2030. Within Austria’s ODA portfolio in 2021, 94% was provided in the form of grants and 6% in the form of non-grants.2

In 2022, Austria ranked 14th among Development Assistance Committee (DAC) member countries when ODA is taken as a share of GNI. Austria’s had one of the highest bilateral ODA shares amongst DAC members targeting the environment as a principal objective (24% in 2021). The share of Austria’s bilateral ODA covered by the DAC Recommendation on Untying ODA that was untied increased in 2021 compared to 2020, although is still relatively low.

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

Austria provided a slightly higher share of its ODA multilaterally in 2021. Gross bilateral ODA was 47.9% of total ODA. Twenty-seven per cent of gross bilateral ODA was channelled through multilateral organisations (earmarked contributions). Austria allocated 52.1% of total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2022, Austria provided USD 75.6 million of gross bilateral ODA to Ukraine to respond to the impacts of Russia’s war of aggression, of which USD 31.9 million was humanitarian assistance (preliminary data). In 2021, it provided USD 20.5 million.

In 2022, Austria provided USD 42 million in ODA for the COVID-19 response. Regarding COVID-19 vaccines, donations of excess doses to developing countries accounted for USD 32.9 million of ODA. In 2020 and 2021, Austria’s total bilateral support for COVID-19 response was USD 30.9 million and USD 64 million, respectively.

In 2021, Austria provided USD 980.7 million of gross ODA to the multilateral system, an increase of 0.6% in real terms from 2020. Of this, USD 783.4 million 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 26.8% of Austria’s non-core contributions, and 73.2% was programmatic funding (to pooled funds and specific-purpose programmes and funds).

Seventy-nine per cent of Austria’s total contributions to multilateral organisations in 2021 was allocated to EU institutions, the World Bank, and regional development banks (in descending order).

The UN system received 14.1% of Austria’s contributions to multilateral organisations, mainly in the form of earmarked contributions. Out of a total volume of USD 138.4 million to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of Austria’s support (core and earmarked contributions) were UNHCR (USD 25.6 million), WFP (USD 17.5 million) and UNICEF (USD 11.8 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, Austria’s bilateral spending increased compared to the previous year. It provided USD 720.8 million of gross bilateral ODA (which includes earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations). This represented an increase of 19.9% in real terms from 2020. In 2021, Austria focused most of its bilateral ODA on quality education, no poverty, and partnership goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

In 2021, country programmable aid was 13.5% of Austria’s gross bilateral ODA, compared to a DAC country average of 45.2%. In-donor refugee costs were USD 63.1 million in 2021, an increase of 93.4% in real terms over 2020, and represented 8.8% of Austria’s gross bilateral ODA.

Austria disbursed USD 0.6 million for triangular co-operation in 2021. Its regional priority is Asia, with a focus on agriculture, forestry, and fishing. Learn more about triangular co-operation and specific projects at the OECD’s voluntary triangular co-operation project repository.

In 2021, Austria channelled bilateral ODA mainly through multilateral channels, the public sector and universities, research institutes or think tanks, as earmarked funding. Technical co-operation made up 19.1% of gross ODA in 2021.

In 2021, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 114.3 million of gross bilateral ODA. Zero per cent of gross bilateral ODA was allocated to CSOs as core contributions, and 15.7% 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 12.3% to 15.9%. 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, Austria’s bilateral ODA was focused mainly on Africa. USD 177.6 million was allocated to Africa and USD 164.4 million to Europe, accounting respectively for 24.6% and 22.8% of gross bilateral ODA. USD 102.9 million (14.3%) was allocated to Asia (excluding the Middle East). Africa was also the main regional recipient of Austria’s earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2021, 27.9% of gross bilateral ODA went to Austria’s top 10 recipients. Its top 10 recipients are priority countries in the Western Balkans, Eastern Neighbourhood and sub-Saharan Africa (plus Türkiye and Iran). The share of gross bilateral ODA that was not allocated by country was 43.9%, with 20% of this unallocated bilateral ODA spent on refugees in the donor country.

In 2021, the least developed countries (LDCs) received 12.9% of Austria’s gross bilateral ODA (USD 92.6 million). This is lower than the DAC average of 22.9%. Austria allocated the highest share of gross bilateral ODA (23.2%) to upper middle-income countries in 2021, noting that 43.9% was unallocated by income group. Austria allocated 12.1% of gross bilateral ODA to land-locked developing countries in 2021, equal to USD 87 million. Austria allocated 0.2% of gross bilateral ODA to small island developing states (SIDS) in 2021, equal to USD 1.2 million.

Support to fragile contexts reached USD 157.3 million in 2021, representing 21.8% of Austria’s gross bilateral ODA. Thirty-six per cent of this ODA was provided in the form of humanitarian assistance, increasing from 26% in 2020, while 7.8% was allocated to peace, decreasing from 8.6% in 2020. Two per cent went to conflict prevention, a subset of contributions to peace, representing an increase from 0.2% in 2020.

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

In 2021, half of Austria’s bilateral ODA was allocated to social infrastructure and services. Investments in this area accounted for 51% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 383.3 million), with a strong focus on support to education (USD 197.9 million), health (USD 70.3 million) and water supply and sanitation (USD 59.9 million). ODA for economic infrastructure and services totalled 8.2% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 61.6 million), focusing on banking and financial services (USD 27.4 million), energy (USD 27.1 million) and business (USD 6.9 million). Bilateral humanitarian assistance amounted to USD 122.4 million (16.3% of bilateral ODA). In 2021, earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations focused on emergency response, health and water supply and sanitation.

In 2020-21, Austria committed 32.5% of its screened bilateral allocable aid to gender equality and women’s empowerment as either a principal or significant objective (down from 53.7% in 2018-19, compared with the 2020-21 DAC average of 44.4%). This is equal to USD 159.5 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 5.3% in 2020-21, compared with the DAC average of 4.5%. Austria includes gender equality objectives in 47.2% of its ODA for humanitarian aid, compared with the 2020-21 DAC average of 17.5%. Austria screens all activities against the DAC gender equality policy marker (100% 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, Austria committed 36.6% of its total bilateral allocable aid (USD 180 million) in support of the environment and the Rio Conventions (DAC average of 34.3%), up from 35.5% in 2018-19. Unpacking the environmental data further:

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

  • Thirty-four per cent of total bilateral allocable aid (USD 165.6 million) focused on climate change overall (the DAC average was 29%), up from 24.8% in 2018-19. Austria had a greater focus on mitigation (23.2%) than on adaptation (20.6%) in 2020-21.

  • Six per cent of total bilateral allocable aid (USD 28 million) focused on biodiversity (compared with the DAC average of 6.5%), down from 8% 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.

In 2021, Austria also:

  • Committed USD 89.5 million (18.3% of its bilateral allocable aid) to promote aid for trade and improve developing countries’ trade performance and integration into the world economy in 2021.

  • Committed USD 42 million (8.6% of its bilateral allocable aid) to development co-operation projects and programmes that promote the inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities.

  • Regarding the payment of local tax and custom duties for ODA-funded goods and services, Austria seeks exemptions on its ODA-funded goods and services in partner countries and territories. It does not make information available on the OECD Digital Transparency Hub on the Tax Treatment of ODA.

Austria uses leveraging mechanisms to mobilise private finance for sustainable development. In 2021, its DFI, the Austrian Development Bank (OeEB), mobilised USD 89.3 million from the private sector through direct investment in companies and special purpose vehicles, syndicated loans, shares in collective investment vehicles, and simple co-financing.

In 2020-21, 69.2% of mobilised private finance by Austria targeted middle-income countries and 0.3% LDCs and other low-income countries (LICs), noting that 30.5% was unallocated by income. During the same period, the top beneficiary region of this financing was Europe (58.8% of the total).

Mobilised private finance by Austria in 2020-21 mainly benefited activities in the energy (61.8%), banking & financial services (15.9%) and industry, mining, construction (10.6%) sectors. Furthermore, over this period, 69% of Austria’s total mobilised private finance was for climate action.

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

In 2021, Austria’s DFI Austrian Development Bank (OeEB) and to a smaller extend also the Austrian Development Agency and the Federal Ministry of Finance extended USD 241.4 million in the form of private sector instruments. Of this, loans represented 58.9% whereas equities accounted for 27.9% and mezzanine finance instruments for 8.9%.

In 2021, USD 1.9 million (0.8%) of Austria’s private sector instruments were allocated to the LDCs and other LICs, with 50.3% extended to middle-income countries and UMICs in particular (40.2%). Moreover, USD 118 million were unallocated by income, mostly including equities to collective investment vehicles and loans with a regional focus.

Top three recipients included Serbia, Georgia and Ukraine, together accounting for 33.8% of Austria’s private sector instruments to developing countries in 2021.

In terms of sectoral distribution, 41.4% of Austria’s private sector instruments were extended in support of projects in the energy sector, followed by banking and financial services (33%) and industry, mining, construction, (16.9%). Health, education and other social sectors received USD 0.6 million through private sector instruments. A share of 49.5% of this finance focused on climate change mitigation and/or adaptation.

The Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs develops and co-ordinates Austria’s development policy and allocates and oversees the budget of the co-operation agency, the ADA. The ADA is the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation. The Federal Ministry of Finance is responsible for most core contributions to multilateral organisations and is involved in the oversight of the OeEB. Local governments, the federal states and several other federal ministries – including the Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism; the Ministry of Education, Science and Research; the Ministry of Defence; the Ministry of the Interior; and the Federal Chancellery – also contribute and are involved in delivering Austria’s ODA.

Austria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has 14 staff working on development co-operation. The development agency has a core personnel of around 170. In addition, it employs project staff through third-party funding (approximately 150 staff). ADA has 11 co-ordination offices and 13 project offices in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.

Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Development discusses Austria’s ODA targets and the Three-year Programme. In 2022, the Austrian Court of Audit published reports on the OeEB as well as on Austria’s follow-up and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Stakeholders are consulted regularly on development co-operation and humanitarian assistance issues, yet there is no institutionalised standing council or forum. CSOs active in development co-operation, humanitarian assistance, and global citizenship education co-ordinate through the umbrella body Global Responsibility: Platform for Development and Humanitarian Aid.

Internal systems and processes help ensure the effective delivery of Austria’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 Austria based on the 2016 and 2018 Monitoring Rounds can be found here. Monitoring profiles for other providers are available here.

2023 Austria’s Mid-term review letter:

2020 OECD-DAC peer review of Austria:

Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs (BMEIA):

Austrian Development Agency (ADA):

Development Bank of Austria (OeEB):

CSO umbrella organisation Global Responsibility: Platform for Development and Humanitarian Aid:

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

Member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) since 1965.

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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