Official Development Assistance (ODA) is the largest source of external financing for Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Nevertheless, in 2018, less aid went to LDCs and African countries, where it is needed most. Preliminary figures indicate that bilateral ODA to LDCs fell by 3 per cent in real terms from 2017, and aid to Africa fell by 4 per cent. Donor countries are not living up to their pledge to ramp up development finance, tamping down efforts to achieve the Global Goals.
Total global remittances reached $689 billion in 2018. Remittances to low- and middle-income countries over that period rose by 9.6 per cent, reaching a record high of $529 billion in 2018. That was more than three times the amount of ODA they received in 2018, and was significantly larger than foreign direct investment (if China is excluded). Remittances to low- and middle-income countries are projected to reach $550 billion in 2019, making them the largest source of external financing in these countries.