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Aid donorship in Asia

Working papers

This background paper is one of three regional studies looking at the role of non-DAC donors in humanitarian action. The papers primarily focus on official humanitarian assistance (OHA), rather than development assistance and financing more broadly, but they recognise that distinctions between humanitarian and other forms of assistance may not always be clear. This paper focuses on the official aid programmes of China, India and South Korea as illustrative of changing international donorship in Asia. A further separate study, on which this paper draws, looks in more detail at Indian alone (Price 2005). The other studies examine aid-giving in Central Europe and the Persian Gulf. The case studies inform HPG’s research project on the growing diversity of official donors in humanitarian action.

Section 2 analyses the key historical influences and geopolitical and economic drivers that have informed the development of aid donorship in these three countries. Section 3 analyses contemporary aid policy and the aid architecture in each of the donor countries. Section 4 examines trends in aid financing, including volumes, recipients, forms and types, as well as channels for disbursement. This leads to an analysis of local organisations and the private sector as channels for assistance in Section 5. Section 6 explores the regional and international fora for dialogue on aid coordination and cooperation, and Section 7 examines the prospects for aid in the future. The paper concludes with a series of policy recommendations for local, regional and international stakeholders.

Lin Cotterrell and Adele Harmer