United NationsDépartement des Affaires Économiques et Sociales Développement Durable

SDG-contracts – EU budget support to partner countries to meet their financing needs

European Commission (

    The eradication of poverty is the primary objective of development policy along with leaving no one behind in line with the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and the 2017 European consensus on development. EU budget support has an important role to play in this context. Altogether, more than 45 % of all budget support commitments and payments are made in least-developed countries. EU budget support thereby represents a firm contribution to the commitment to allocate 0.2 % of the EU gross national income to least-developed countries.

    Implementation of the Project/Activity

    A few key features in terms of SDGs can be highlighted. When supporting national strategies or operating at sector level, EU budget support can play a unique role in helping countries meet SDG 1 and SDG 10, targeting poverty and inequality reduction, respectively. The following developments are notable: the share of people living in poverty in countries receiving EU budget support has almost halved, from more than 26 % of the population in 2002 to less than 14 % in 2017; and the income share of the bottom 40 % of the population in those same countries increased by 11 % between 2004 and 2019. Budget support can enable the development of broad social protection policies and the strengthening of health and social protection systems. The COVID-19 global public health emergency has demonstrated in particular the need for effective social protection systems, which are crucial in safe-guarding the poor and vulnerable when a crisis hits. For years, EU budget support has been instrumental in tackling disparities in health (SDG 3), which has increased the resilience of health systems and prepared countries to respond better to the pandemic.


    Question relevant at the level of individual projects. Details contained in the report https://ec.europa.eu/international-partnerships/system/files/budget-sup…. The information is structured along the 17 SDGs.

    Enabling factors and constraints

    The Risk Management Framework (RMF) assesses the risks in budget support programmes associated with the use of partner countries’ systems. As of 2020, it has been extended to assess these risks in all countries with which the EU has a bilateral cooperation programme, including those where this does not include a budget support programme. Mitigating measures allow EU development cooperation strategies and programmes to achieve their objectives despite the level and nature of risks observed in countries. See part II of the Report https://ec.europa.eu/international-partnerships/system/files/budget-sup… .

    Sustainability and replicability

    Question relevant at the level of individual projects. More information in the report https://ec.europa.eu/international-partnerships/system/files/budget-sup…

    COVID-19 Impact

    For years, EU budget support has been instrumental in tackling disparities in health (SDG 3), which has in-creased the resilience of health systems and prepared countries to respond better to the pandemic. For instance, in Burkina Faso, budget support helped to finance free healthcare for 8.5 million children and pregnant women in 2016, rising to 15 million in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic and its socioeconomic impact have highlighted even further the value of budget support. In 2020, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, budget support disbursements have reached unprecedented levels at nearly EUR 3 billion, as part of the Team Europe global response. As to broader support to building back better, the report shows contribution to implementation of a range of relevant SDGs across a number of countries. https://ec.europa.eu/international-partnerships/system/files/budget-sup…

    This initiative does not yet fulfil the SMART criteria.
    01 January 2015 (start date)
    31 December 2030 (date of completion)
    Other beneficiaries
    More information
    Contact Information