It took 44 years – but during the past year Germany finally managed to make the quota set by the United Nations in 1972, spending 0.7 percent of economic output on development aid. Yes, the goal was only reached thanks to all the spending on refugees inside Germany; without them, the quota would have been stuck at 0.52 percent.
But there is nothing reprehensible about including these costs in the calculation, despite claims to the contrary from some aid workers. It is justifiable. It corresponds to criteria governing the quota for official development assistance, or ODA, which other industrial nations have adhered to for years.