Romania

Romania’s development co-operation mainly focuses on countries in its vicinity – the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries and Southern Neighbourhood. Romania’s volume of official development assistance (ODA) has constantly increased in recent years. In 2016, Romania established the legal framework for national development co-operation policy to regulate its programmatic and institutional structure, as well as associated financial and implementation regulations. The Romanian Agency for International Development Cooperation (RoAid) became operational in 2018 and began implementing aid activities that year. Total ODA (USD 326.7 million, preliminary data) increased in 2021, representing 0.13% of gross national income (GNI).

Find the methodological notes behind the profile here.

Romania’s development co-operation is focused on the eradication of extreme poverty and global security by promoting socio-economic sustainability and effectiveness through international co-operation. The Multiannual Strategic Program on International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance for the Period 2020-2023 establishes Romania’s objectives, which include the transfer of its own transition experience; the provision of humanitarian aid; co-operation with civil society and the private sector; promoting transparency and communication; and strengthening resources and consolidation of the capacity of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the national co-ordinator of development co-operation and humanitarian assistance. The strategic programme also refers to Romania’s thematic priorities and interests, such as good governance, the rule of law, peace and security, sustainable economic development, education, and youth promotion. Education is the main focus of development assistance provided bilaterally by Romania to partner countries, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and training in partner countries.

Romania’s assistance is provided in line with Law No. 213/2016, which regulates development co-operation and humanitarian aid. The law sets the strategic objectives, programmatic and institutional framework, as well as financing and implementation modalities of Romania’s development co-operation. Romania provides the vast majority of its ODA through multilateral channels, mainly as core contributions.

Romania is an Adherent to the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development. Learn more about DAC standards.

Romania provided USD 326.7 million (preliminary data) of ODA in 2021,1 representing 0.13% of GNI. In real terms, this is comparable to the volume and share of GNI provided in 2020. The government has committed to strive to achieve a 0.33% ODA/GNI ratio by 2030 as part of the EU’s collective commitment to achieve a 0.7% ODA/GNI ratio by 2030. Romania provided all of its ODA as grants.2

Romania provided a higher share of its ODA multilaterally in 2020. Gross bilateral ODA was 23.4% of total ODA. The share of gross bilateral ODA channelled through multilateral organisations (earmarked contributions) was 8.5%. Romania allocated 76.6% of total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2020, Romania provided USD 5.8 million of gross bilateral ODA for the COVID-19 response, representing 7.8% of its total gross bilateral ODA. Seven per cent of total gross bilateral ODA was provided as health expenditure within the COVID-19 response.

In 2020, Romania provided USD 239.6 million of gross ODA to the multilateral system, an increase of 17.2% in real terms from 2019. Of this, USD 233.6 million was core multilateral ODA, while non-core contributions were earmarked for a specific country, region, theme or purpose. Project-type funding that is earmarked for a specific theme and/or country accounted for 12.6% of Romania’s non-core contributions and 87.4% was programmatic funding (pooled funds and specific-purpose programmes and funds).

Ninety-six per cent of Romania’s total contribution to multilateral organisations in 2020 was allocated to European Union institutions (90.6%), United Nations (UN) entities (2.8%) and the World Bank Group (2.2%).

The UN system received 3.4% of Romania’s gross ODA to the multilateral system, mainly through core contributions. Out of a total volume of USD 8.2 million to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of Romania’s support (core and earmarked contributions) were: the UN Secretariat (USD 2.6 million), WHO (USD 1 million) and UNEP (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, Romania’s bilateral spending increased compared to the previous year. It provided USD 75.3 million of gross bilateral ODA (which includes earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations). This represented an increase of 13.5% in real terms from 2019. In 2020, Romania focused most of its bilateral ODA on addressing the education goal of the UN 2030 Agenda.

In 2020, country programmable aid was 90.5% of Romania’s gross bilateral ODA, compared to the average for countries reporting to the OECD of 47.8%.

In 2020, Romania channelled bilateral ODA mainly through the public sector and multilateral organisations, as earmarked funding. Technical co-operation made up 20.2% of gross ODA in 2020.

In 2020, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 500 000 of Romania’s gross bilateral ODA.

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, Romania’s bilateral ODA was primarily focused on Europe. USD 64.7 million was allocated to ODA-eligible countries in Europe. Asia and the Middle East were the main regional recipients of Romania’s earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2020, 94.6% of gross bilateral ODA went to Romania’s top 10 recipients. Its top 10 recipients are mostly in 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 4%.

In 2020, Romania allocated the highest share of gross bilateral ODA (78.6%) to lower middle-income countries, while 4% was unallocated by income group.

Support to fragile contexts reached USD 4.2 million in 2020, representing 5.6% of Romania’s gross bilateral ODA.

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

In 2020, more than half of all of Romania’s bilateral ODA was allocated to social infrastructure and services. Investments in this area accounted for 91.1% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 68.6 million), with a strong focus on support to education (USD 61.2 million) and health and population policies (USD 5.8 million). Bilateral humanitarian assistance amounted to USD 4.2 million (5.6% of bilateral ODA). Earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations focused also on social infrastructure and services in 2020.

In 2020, Romania committed 1.2% of its screened bilateral allocable aid to gender equality and women’s empowerment, as either a principal or significant objective (up from 0.3% in 2019). This is equal to USD 900 000 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 0.2%. Romania screens almost all activities against the DAC gender equality policy marker (99.7% 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.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-ordinates Romania’s development co-operation and humanitarian aid policy at the national level. As such, it monitors the progress made in achieving the objectives and international commitments assumed by Romania while also collecting analysis for reporting at the national and international levels on Romania’s development co-operation and humanitarian aid activities. In this context, 20 Romanian public institutions are engaged in ODA reporting.

Regulated by Law No. 213/2016 and operational since 2018, RoAid is the national development institution responsible for implementing projects and programmes in international development co-operation and humanitarian aid. The agency has promoted partnerships with the private sector and non-governmental organisations. In its international co-operation with other development co-operation agencies, RoAid has also been active as a member of the Practitioners’ Network for European Development Co-operation since 2019. In addition, Law No. 213/2016 established an advisory committee for international development co-operation and humanitarian aid. The committee is responsible for ensuring the efficient integration of strategic planning and designation of geographic and thematic priorities for development co-operation activities carried out by Romania.

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

Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.mae.ro/en/node/2062

Romanian Agency for International Development Cooperation: http://roaid.ro/en/2382-2

Law No. 213 of November 9th 2016, on International Cooperation for Development and Humanitarian Aid: http://roaid.ro/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Law-213_-2016-on-Development-Cooperation.pdf

Multiannual Strategic Program on International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance for the Period 2020-2023: https://www.mae.ro/sites/default/files/file/anul_2020/pdf_2020/multiannual_strategic_program_2020_2023_eng.pdf

Participant in the OECD Development Assistance Committee since 2018. Reporting to the OECD since 2008 and reporting activity-level data since 2015 on 2014 activities.

On 25 January 2022, the OECD Council decided to open accession discussions with Romania 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.

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

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