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Not Much Aid for Sub-Saharan Arms Control

Only a tiny proportion of aid to Africa goes to one of the continent’s most pressing problems.

In the past decade of international assistance reported by the OECD Creditor Reporting System, donor governments averaged $24m of aid per year for reintegration and small arms and light weapons control programmes (code 15240) across all 46 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. This represents an average of $0.5m per country per year.

During that time, donor governments averaged $56.2b of international assistance per year to Sub-Saharan Africa. The share of this for weapon and ammunition management and control made up only 0.04% of aid

This is a very low figure given the well-documented cost of the misuse of weapons to communities, economies and development programs in many African countries.

Around two-thirds of the aid was provided directly by donor governments. About one-third came from multilateral institutions, namely the EU, UN Peacebuilding Fund and World Bank. Only four donor governments spent an average of more than $0.5m on arms control programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa:  

  • Germany – $7.4m 
  • United States – $3.7m  
  • Japan – $1.4m 
  • Canada – $0.6m 

All figures are in US dollars. The most recently reported year was 2021. The ‘past decade’ refers to 2012-2021.

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