Sorry Sweden, Luxembourg is now the most generous country in the world.
That’s according to a recent update to data on official development assistance offered by the nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Luxembourg is better known as a secretive tax haven—along with places like the Cayman Islands and Switzerland—than as a leading source of development aid. But it has overtaken Scandinavian nations Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, which are well-known as generous development donors.
In 2011, Sweden was the most generous donor, according to the OECD’s key metric, which is official development assistance as a share of gross national income. But Luxembourg overtook Sweden this year, thanks to a rise in bilateral grants. As part of a government plan, Luxembourg had made a commitment to keep its development assistance as a share of national income at around 1%.
The three top recipients of aid from Luxembourg are the African nations of Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal. Here’s a look at the 2012 OECD numbers:
For the record, the OECD’s determination of generosity rests on the aforementioned aid-to-gross national income metric. But in terms of raw dollar giving, the US is still the biggest source of development aid in the world. The US shelled out $31 billion in development aid in 2012, with top recipients being Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. By comparison, Luxembourg donated $399 million. On the other hand, the US doesn’t dig too deep in its big pockets, giving just 0.2% of national income in official aid.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.