Implications of Graduation from DAC Eligibility for the Cook Islands

The Cook Islands is expected to graduate to high-income status, having exceeded the high-income threshold set by the World Bank for the past 3years.

The "graduation" is determined by the OECD's Development Advisory Committee (DAC); under DAC rules, financial assistance provided to the Cook Islands by external (DAC Member) donor partners will not be accorded the status of "Official Development Assistance"(ODA).

The following report, commissioned the Cook Islands Government and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (New Zealand), assesses the implications on the Cook Islands of its anticipated ODA graduation from upper middle income status to high income status, especially in regards to accessing financial and technical support.

Key points from the assessment report include:

  • Limited implications for the Cook Islands; in financial assistance over half of ODA provided from non-DAC sources
  • Small aid grants comprises between $10-20million/year from a wide range of donors which are not influenced by DAC graduation
  • Large capital grants to key infrastructure projects were committed prior to graduation, actual spending will also continue after.
  • Will not impact cost of borrowing, and no evidence to suggest cost of financing will increase post-graduation.

View the full report below: