The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) assesses the extent to which aid is tied to trade. In 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, they reported that of the approximately US$106 billion in total bilateral commitments, US$13.2 billion was tied with a further US$2.6 billion partially untied, giving an overall total of partially untied and tied aid of almost 15%.
Evidence has shown that such "tied" aid increases the costs of a development intervention/project by as much as 15 to 30 percent. Untying aid, on the other hand, avoids unnecessary costs and gives the recipient the freedom to procure goods and services from virtually any country.
The OECD in an effort to reduce the volume of tied aid has recommended to its member countries that all aid provided to least developed countries, heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs), Other Low-Income Countries (OLICs) and countries which are only eligible to financing from International Development Association (IDA) should be untied.
Ireland remains one of the few countries which has consistently provided untied aid. Ireland's new policy for international development A Better World, launched earlier this year, commits the government to maintaining an untied, quality, focused and coherent development programme. During the consultation process there was strong public support for continuing this commitment to untied aid.