There’s no doubt that the global aid architecture is changing. There has been much talk about the rise of emerging donors, from the economic powerhouses in the “global south” collectively known as BRICS to the oil-rich Arab nations.
Indeed, while the rise in official development assistance in 2013 was largely buoyed by Western donors — many of which continue to wrestle with an improving but still weak economy — aid flows from emerging actors have certainly contributed to the upswing in aid spending.
The United Arab Emirates, for one, inched past traditional donors like Canada and Australia and became the ninth-largest provider of net ODA that year. More significantly, UAE not only posted the largest growth in aid spending in 2013 — up 375 percent to $5.1 billion — it also became the first emerging donor to meet — and exceed — the elusive goal of allocating at least 0.7 percent of gross national income to ODA.