Development Cooperation Handbook/Definitions/Donors

Who provides aid

Bilateral Aid is given by the government of one country directly to another. Many dedicated governmental aid agencies dispense bilateral aid, for example Europeaid, USAID, DFID, MAE. 

Multilateral aid is given from the government of a country to an international agency, such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, or the European Development Fund. These organizations are usually governed by the contributing countries. Donations from private individuals and for-profit companies are another significant type of aid.

Many immigrants move to areas of increased economic opportunity, and send money to friends and family members who still live in the countries they left. These payments are known as remittances and constitute a significant portion of international monetary transfers.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) play a major role in distributing aid. Many non-profit charitable organizations solicit donations from the public to support their work; charitable foundations often oversee an endowment which they invest and use the proceeds to support aid organizations and other causes. Aid organizations may provide both humanitarian and development aid, or specialize in one or the other. SOme  NGOs have an affiliation with a religious denomination.

Many NGOs conduct their own international operations - distributing food and water, building pipelines and homes, teaching, providing health care, lending money, etc. Some government aid agencies also conduct direct operations, but there are also many contracts with or grants to NGOs who actually provide the desired aid.

Scholarships to foreign students, whether from a government or a private school or university, might also be considered a type of development aid.

Private aid

Development charities make up a vast web of non-governmental organizations, religious ministries, foundations, business donations and college scholarships devoted to development aid.

Who is in

European Commission External Cooperation Programme  (EuropeAid)
The European Union, composed of the Member States and the European Commission, is the world’s biggest aid donor. The Commission’s EuropeAid co-operation office manages EU external aid programmes and ensures that development assistance is delivered worldwide.

EuropeAid's main mission is to implement the Commission’s external aid instruments, both those funded by the Union’s budget and the European Development Fund.   EuropeAid works in collaboration with its various partners: Civil society, international organisations and governments of EU Member States, building synergies and subsidairites, ,  with the aim to make external aid more participated and effective. 

EU development assistance is distributed through multi-annual programmes (1) which are coordinated by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Development (for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries) and the Directorate General External Relations for the rest of the world.
When formulating and managing these programmes, the Commission consults the authorities in partner countries. This results in an agreed country and regional strategy paper (2), which includes a multi-annual national indicative programme.