In 2019, the European Union’s official development assistance amounted to €75.2 billion (up from €74.9 billion in 2018). The EU and its Member States have therefore maintained their position as the largest international aid donor, accounting for 55.2% of the total development assistance to developing countries from members of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC). The US is the second-largest donor, with €30.9 billion, followed by Japan with €13.9 billion. This is according to the European Council’s tenth Annual Report adopted today. The EU’s assistance accounted for 0.46% of the EU’s gross national income (GNI), significantly above the 0.21% average of non-EU countries. The target is to provide 0.7% of GNI in aid by 2030, a threshold that has already been met by four EU countries in 2019 (Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden and the UK). Italian aid stands at 0.24% of GNI. Reaching the 0.7% target is all the more necessary “in the light of the multi-faceted crisis that the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered”, the Council said in its report. “The EU’s development assistance continues to play a crucial role in the overall financing available to the EU to help partner countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”.