More than 355 billion disbursed in support of sustainable development in 2020


Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD) is an international standard for measuring the full array of resources to promote sustainable development in developing countries. It is designed to monitor all official resources flowing into developing countries for their sustainable development, but also private resources mobilised through official means. It also measures contributions to International Public Goods. In July 2015, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda called to develop TOSSD in an “open, inclusive and transparent manner”. Since 2017, the International TOSSD Task Force has developed and maintained TOSSD.  It is comprised of Southern and traditional providers, recipient countries, multilateral organisations, as well as civil society. In 2019, the Task Force published the first version of the TOSSD methodology

In March 2022, TOSSD was recognised as a data source for indicator 17.3.1 of the SDG global indicator framework to measure development support. In April 2022, the TOSSD Secretariat submitted to the UN Statistics Division the data to inform indicator 17.3.1 for the first time and released the latest TOSSD dataset on 2020 activities. In this story, the Secretariat presents some of the key headlines from these 2020 data.

A 22% increase in total official support from 2019 to 2020.

The 2020 TOSSD dataset contains more than 318,000 activities (e.g. in the form of projects, budget support, technical co-operation) in support of sustainable development from almost 100 provider countries and institutions.  In 2020, Total Official Support for Sustainable Development amounted to 355 billion in gross disbursements, an increase of 22% compared to 2019. Besides, USD 51 billion of private finance was mobilised for sustainable development through official development finance interventions.

TOSSD data in 2020 captured over 75 000 activities not reported to any other existing global database. This represents an additional USD 68 billion in official support. In the same line, twelve Southern providers reported more than 4,500 activities on their contributions to sustainable development in 2020. Most of these SSC activities (76%) were standard grants for a large part in the form of technical co-operation.

Two different pictures on country allocations.

In 2020, the top 10 countries received almost 23% of total funds reported in TOSSD. From a disbursements perspective, the most supported countries are India, Syria including for a large part refugees based in Türkiye, and the Philippines. Seven out of the ten countries are lower-middle-income countries.

Looking at the top 10 countries per number of activities, there are five new countries entering the list: People's Republic of China (hereafter 'China'), Viet Nam, Uganda, Tanzania and Myanmar. The ranking by activities brings to the top countries heavily funded by grants while the ‘disbursements’ ranking shows countries mostly supported by loans. 

* Including: bonds, capital subscriptions on a deposit basis, common equity, direct provider spending, guarantees/insurances, preferred equity, reimbursable grants, shares in collective investment vehicles, subordinated loans, other debt securities and other hybrid instruments. ** Syria data includes large development finance flows that the Republic of Türkiye reported to the TOSSD Secretariat on 2020 activities and that mainly consist of support to Syrian refugees in Türkiye.

Official support in 2020 focused on a few number of sectors

Four out of twenty-three sectors (Government and civil society, Humanitarian aid, Health, and Other social infrastructure and services) concentrated around 40% of disbursements and 45% of activities in TOSSD 2020 data. 

TOSSD provides increased transparency to recipient countries

TOSSD is closing data gaps at the national level on development finance. 2020 data exemplifies how TOSSD provides greater transparency on contributions made to sustainable development by traditional providers, southern providers, as well as multilateral organisations. The figure below shows fifteen recipient countries benefitting from increased transparency. In the cases of Lebanon and Yemen, for example, disbursements captured in TOSSD are, respectively, almost twice and three times higher than those captured in OECD Development Finance statistics.

Visit to explore TOSSD activity-level data on official support for sustainable development.

Publication date: 5 December 2022

Author: TOSSD Task Force Secretariat


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