Peace and security expenditure

within the official development assistance

Seminar Paper, 2007

9 Pages


Table of contents

1. Introduction

2. Evolution of terms

3. Security sector debate – state of affairs

4. Implication

5. Conclusions


1. Introduction:

The speech of former president of the United States, Harry S Truman in 1949, for the foundation of the NATO, has often also been seen as the beginning of the whole development aid engagement. In his clear words, “In addition, we will provide military advice and equipment to free nations which will cooperate with us in the maintenance of peace and security. Fourth, we must embark on a bold new program for making the benefits of our scientific advances and industrial progress available for the improvement and growth of underdeveloped areas.“[1]

Although die international system changed dramatically, old enemies vanished, whereas new ones arose, the issue of security is still, and since September 9/11 will be an even more essential topic within the discussion of development.

It is to emanate that this close linkage between development and security has always had an impact on the behavior of the donor community, and is now once again in the focus of a debate concerning new approaches such as the security sector reform (SSR) and a broadening of the ODA definition due to the rising demand of peace and security in the development business.

2. Evolution of terms

Since his foundation in the year 1961, the DAC has created until the year 1969 and established until 1972[2] a standardized, coherent comparable reporting system of development related flows from the donor countries unified in the OECD, towards aid recipient countries, which is focused on the so-called Official Development Assistance (ODA). The definition of that term has actually not changed over the years, but due to changes in the political environment and a broadening of the definition of development, as well as changing tools to achieve it, there have been necessary adaptations of that definition.[3] As countries seek to appear as generous as possible within the statistics related to ODA, it has always been a struggle what flows have to be excluded and what are eligible for official development assistance. Especially the sector of peace and security is extremly sensitive concerning its eligibility.

The definition of flows accountable as official development assistance focuses on four criterias[4]:

- ODA covers only flows provided by official agencies, such as states, local governments or their executive agencies
- The flows have to be directed to countries on Part I on the DAC list, or to multilateral institutions for flows to Part I aid recipients.
- Engagements quoted as ODA are subject to two concessions, which are a grant element of at least 25 per cent and a discount rate of under 10 per cent.
- These transactions should have economic development and welfare of developing countries as their main objective;

This basic definition of ODA, especially the last point should generally exclude military assistance. Additional details of what is accountable and what not, are found in the Annexes of the DAC reporting directives, mainly in Annex 3 (point 4 i.) and 5. Although “the financial data reported in the DAC Questionnaire on items entering a Member's balance-of-payments statistics should be as a rule reconcilable with the balance-of-payments data it submits annually to the IMF and to the OECD.”[5], there are several exclusions in Annex 3, concerning “Grants, official loans or credits (…) for the supply of financing military equipment or services (…) linked to a specific defence effort. Training (…), even in non-military matters such as civil engineering, surveying, or human rights law, is not reportable as ODA. The use of military personnel to control civil disobedience, even in emergency situations, is not reportable as ODA. (…)” The only exception of that rule and therefore ODA eligible, relates to additional costs of military personnel, excluding the regular salaries and expenses, which may arise through humanitarian aid. Even as military assistance was mainly recorded as “foreign aid”, some flows found its way into ODA due to the lack of a clear common definition of “humanitarian aid”, which is still subject to further debates, even if the DAC has made progress through the endorsement of its ‘Principles and Good Practice of Humanitarian Donorship’[6] towards a standardized definition. As long as the “main objective” is development and welfare, various flows could be covered under the term of official development assistance because of the emphasis of the donors own definition.[7]

The debate of ODA eligibility has flared up once again in the beginning of the 1990s, when the United States quoted debt cancellations up to $ 2 billion[8] for Egypts military expenditure in the context of the Gulf War. Even as this has been accepted from the DAC, or at least tolerated, debt reliefs caused by military expenditure can only be quoted as Other Official Flows (OOF) in future. (Annex 3.4.i.)[9]


[1], download 20.03.07;

[2] Vgl,, download 24.03.07

[3] vgl,; download 22.03.07

[4] vgl,,33, download 24.03.07

[5], download 24.03.07 A3.1

[6],2340,en_2649_33721_34983626_1_1_1_1,00.html, download 24.03.07

[7] vgl, Raffer, K., Singer, H. W., The Foreign Aid Business, Economic Assistance and Development Cooperation, Edard Elgar, Cheltenham, 1996, page 4;

[8] vgl,, download 24.03.07;

[9] vgl,, 24.03.07;

Excerpt out of 9 pages


Peace and security expenditure
within the official development assistance
Coopération internationale au développement
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
365 KB
Peace, Coopération, security sector, official development aid, official aid, development, expenditure, European, Europe, Aid, development aid
Quote paper
A. Fritsch (Author), 2007, Peace and security expenditure, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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