Official Development Assistance (ODA)
5. The Fifth Medium-term Target of Official Development Assistance
Official Development Assistance (ODA) constitutes an important pillar of Japan's international contribution. Continued efforts to steadily expand its ODA have brought the level of Japan's aid to the highest in the world in recent years.
The stability and sustained growth of developing countries are essential to the creation of a post-Cold War framework for peace and prosperity. The emergence of global issues, as well as a growing number of countries transforming themselves into democracies and market economies, add to the demand for concessional assistance. Under these circumstances, developing countries find themselves in a more serious situation, with their economies stagnating and their poverty spreading ever further. Against this background, we are called upon to expand ODA's quantity as well as to improve its quality, while such ODA should be based upon the basic principle of assisting the self-help efforts of developing countries towards their economic take-off.
The Government of Japan hereby lays down a new Medium-term Target, which covers the five years from 1993 through 1997, in accordance with the basic philosophy and principles of the ODA Charter adopted by the Cabinet in June 1992. This Target is put in place to further enhance Japan's contribution to the world through the expansion of its ODA.
This Target is subject to review in accordance with changes in domestic and international situations.
- In order to continue its contribution to the world through ODA expansion, commensurate with its place in the international community, Japan will strive to increase the aggregate volume of ODA disbursed over the five-year period (1993-97) to 70 to 75 billion dollars. Japan will also strive to improve its ODA/GNP ratio steadily.
- In order to improve the quality of ODA, the following measures will be taken to make certain that appropriate aid be extended, which is tailored to developing countries various needs associated with different stages of development, by the combination of various forms of aid in an organic manner. Grant aid and technical assistance will be expanded, and efforts will be made to increase the grant portion. Particular attention will be paid to the increase in the grant assistance to Least Developed Countries (LLDC).
ODA loans will be steadily implemented while diversifying the types of loans. Continuous consideration will be paid-to the importance of socioeconomic infrastructure improvement to enable the sustained growth of developing countries.
Positive measures will be taken to strengthen the financial bases of international organizations with due attention paid to their management efficiency. Manpower and intellectual contribution will also be reinforced.
Furthermore, steps will be taken to strengthen policy dialogue with recipient countries, in which Japan's experience will be shared. Efforts will be made for ODA to be organically coordinated with trade and direct investment, thus promoting the growth of developing countries in an overall manner.
- In accordance with the priority items listed in the ODA Charter, emphasis will be placed on aid for (l) the solutions of global issues such as ones related to the environment and population, (2) basic human needs, (3) human resources development, and (4) infrastructure improvement. In particular, environment-related ODA will be provided to support the self-help efforts of developing countries to achieve sustainable economic development compatible with the environment. This will be done keeping in mind the target announced at the June 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. Flexible approaches will be taken in the implementation of loans and grant aid.
- To ensure the effective and efficient ODA implementation, the aid administration system will be reinforced, particularly through the increase in the size of personnel. Emphasis will be placed on the strengthening of project-finding and project-formulation capabilities, the upgrading of preparatory studies and other types of research, the improvement of area studies and development policy studies, and the continuous refinement of post-project evaluations. Training of aid-related personnel, such as development specialists and private-sector consultants will be enhanced, and close coordination with Japan's local governments, private bodies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will be promoted.
June 25, 1993