Romania’s development co-operation focuses mainly on countries in its vicinity – the Eastern Partnership countries and Southern Neighbourhood. Romania’s volume of official development assistance (ODA) has consistently increased in recent years. In 2016, Romania established the legal framework to regulate the programmatic and institutional structure of its national development co-operation policy, along with the associated financial and implementation regulations. The Romanian Agency for International Development Cooperation (RoAid) became operational in 2017 and began implementing aid activities in 2018. Romania’s total ODA (USD 411 million, preliminary data) increased in 2022, representing 0.14% of gross national income (GNI).

Find the methodological notes behind the profile here.

Romania’s development co-operation is focused on eradicating extreme poverty and global security by promoting socio-economic sustainability and effectiveness through international co-operation. The Multiannual Strategic Program on the International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance for the Period 2020-2023 establishes Romania’s objectives, which include transferring its own transition experience; providing humanitarian aid; co-operating with civil society and the private sector; promoting transparency and communication; and strengthening the resources and consolidating 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 Romania’s bilateral development assistance, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and training in partner countries. The new Multiannual Strategic Program, which will cover the period 2024-27, will be approved by the government by the end of 2023. 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, the 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 of the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development. Learn more about DAC recommendations.

Romania provided USD 411 million (preliminary data) of ODA in 2022 (USD 425.5 million in constant terms), representing 0.14% of GNI.1 This was an increase of 2% in real terms in volume and a decrease in share of GNI from 2021. ODA volume has overall increased over the last ten years despite a slight decrease in 2015. The Romanian Government has committed to achieving the European-level target of 0,33% ODA/GNI by 2030; this commitment is still to be reached. Romania provided all of its ODA as grants in 2021. Total ODA on a grant-equivalent basis has the same value as net ODA under the cash-flow methodology used in the past, as Romania provides only grants.2

Romania provided most of its ODA multilaterally in 2021. Gross bilateral ODA was 20.6% of total ODA. Six per cent of gross bilateral ODA was channelled through multilateral organisations (earmarked contributions). Romania allocated 79.4% of total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2022, Romania provided USD 10.6 million of gross bilateral ODA to Ukraine to respond to the impacts of Russia’s war of aggression, of which USD 8.6 million was humanitarian assistance (preliminary data).

In 2021, Romania provided USD 336.4 million of gross ODA to the multilateral system, an increase of 32.0% in real terms from 2020. Of this, USD 331.2 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 7.5% of Romania’s non-core contributions and 92.5% was programmatic funding (to pooled funds and specific-purpose programmes and funds).

Ninety-seven per cent of Romania’s total contributions to multilateral organisations in 2021 was allocated to EU Institutions, the UN system, and World Bank (in descending order).

The UN system received 18.3% of Romania’s multilateral contributions, mainly in the form of core contributions. Out of a total volume of USD 61.6 million to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of Romania’s support (core and earmarked contributions) were UNDPO-UN Peacekeeping operations (USD 53.6 million), the UN Secretariat (USD 3.0 million) and WHO-CVCA (USD 1.0 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, Romania’s bilateral spending increased compared to the previous year. It provided USD 86.0 million of gross bilateral ODA (which includes earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations). This represented an increase of 7.5% in real terms from 2020. In 2021, Romania focused most of its bilateral ODA on SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

In 2021, country programmable aid was 94% of Romania’s gross bilateral ODA, compared to a non-DAC country average of 46.4% (excluding the EU institutions).

In 2021, Romania channelled bilateral ODA through the public sector, followed by multilateral organisations, as earmarked funding. Technical co-operation made up 18.9% of gross ODA in 2021.

In 2021, Romania’s bilateral ODA was primarily focused on Europe. USD 74.5 million was allocated to Europe and USD 3.2 million to Africa, accounting respectively for 86.6% and 3.7% of gross bilateral ODA. USD 3.0 million (3.5%) was allocated to the Middle East. Romania established, starting with 2023, the Fund for the Future of Africa through Peace, Education & Development, with an annual financial allocation of 17% of the MFA’s ODA budget. Europe was also the main regional recipient of Romania’s earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2021, 91% of gross bilateral ODA went to Romania’s top 10 recipients. Its top 10 recipients are mainly in the Europe and Middle East regions. The share of gross bilateral ODA that was not allocated by country was 3%, with 17.3% of this unallocated bilateral ODA spent on refugees in the donor country.

In 2021, the least developed countries (LDCs) received 1.2% of Romania’s gross bilateral ODA (USD 1 million). This is lower than the non-DAC country average of 13.7%. Romania allocated the highest share of gross bilateral ODA (84.3%) to lower middle-income countries in 2021, noting that 3% was unallocated by income group. Romania allocated 77.3% of gross bilateral ODA to land-locked developing countries in 2021, equal to USD 66.5 million.

Support to fragile contexts reached USD 3.6 million in 2021, representing 4.2% of Romania’s gross bilateral ODA. Seven per cent of this ODA was provided in the form of humanitarian assistance, increasing from 3% in 2020, while 1.7% was allocated to peace, increasing from 0.7% in 2020. Two per cent went to conflict prevention, a subset of contributions to peace, representing an increase from 0% in 2020.

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

In 2021, more than half of Romania’s bilateral ODA was allocated to social infrastructure and services. Investments in this area accounted for 87.7% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 75.5 million), with a strong focus on support to education (USD 63.9 million), health (USD 9.2 million), and government and civil society (USD 2.3 million). ODA for production sectors totalled USD 6.0 million, focusing on focusing on Agriculture, forestry, and fishing (USD 5.9 million). ODA for economic infrastructure and services totalled USD 0.4 million, focusing on business (USD 0.2 million), communications (USD 0.1 million) and energy (USD 0.1 million). Bilateral humanitarian assistance amounted to USD 3.1 million (3.5% of bilateral ODA). In 2021, earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations focused on social sectors and sectors other than social, economic, or production sectors.

In 2021, Romania also committed USD 6.3 million (7.4% of its bilateral allocable aid) to promote aid for trade and improve developing countries’ trade performance and integration into the world economy in 2021.

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 analyses for reporting at the national and international levels on Romania’s development co-operation and humanitarian aid activities. In this context, more than 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.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Romanian Agency for International Development Cooperation:

Law No. 213 of November 9th 2016, on International Cooperation for Development and Humanitarian Aid:

Multiannual Strategic Program on International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance for the Period 2020-2023:

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.


← 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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