This study of the major European donors clearly illustrates the highly complex nature of development assistance, and the wide variety of approaches taken by the various donors in carrying out this task. Although all DAC nations have been formally committed since 1977 to focus primarily upon basic needs and the poor, 1 an examination of these five European donors underscores the uniqueness of each program. Each donor has its own particular objectives and priorities. Each focuses on somewhat different sectors and countries. Each program is administered by a different type of organizational structure, and each has a different approach to the programming cycle, involving different procedures, terms, and requirements. This complexity is compounded by the general absence of any systematic donor coordination, except among the Nordic countries.