What is aid?
When we talk about aid, we normally mean development cooperation, but there are other kinds of aid, and it can be delivered in different ways.
Development Cooperation is the range of ways in which countries work together, including financial or technical assistance received by a developing country to bring about higher living standards for its citizens. Modification of trade policies on the part of developed countries may also be considered as a form of aid, in as much as improved market access can also bring benefits to a developing country. It is distinguished from humanitarian aid as being aimed at alleviating poverty in the long term, rather than alleviating suffering in the short term. Foreign aid, on the other hand, includes both development aid and humanitarian aid. Development aid can take many forms it can be a project or a programme, a cash transfer or delivery of goods, a training course or a research project, a debt relief operation or a contribution to a non-governmental organisation.
Humanitarian aid is provided for humanitarian purposes, typically on an urgent basis as a form of emergency management in response to a crisis. The primary objective of humanitarian aid is to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity. It may therefore be distinguished from development aid, which seeks to address the underlying socioeconomic factors which may have led to a crisis or emergency. Humanitarian aid is delivered by governmental and non-governmental aid agencies which are funded by donations from individuals, corporations, governments and other organisations. (for more detail, see http://www.HowYouCanHelp.ie/)
Official Development Assistance
The nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), made up of the developed nations of the world, have committed to providing a certain level of development assistance to developing countries. This is called Official Development Assistance (ODA), and is given by governments on certain concessional terms, usually as simple donations. It is given by governments through individual countries’international aid agencies (bilateral aid), through multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, or through development charities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs)