Sweden approves continued support to Oxfam for humanitarian assistance

The Swedish International development Agency, Sida, has approved a new three-year program for Oxfam for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The decision to provide new funding to Oxfam was put on hold in February 2018 pending a response from the organization on how they handle the cases of sexual exploitation within their organization. Oxfam has since been able to show that they have strong rules and routines in place that work in practice.

Sida’s support to Oxfam is for three years for a total of US$12.6 million (SEK104 million). The assistance is expected to reach over 280,000 people in five countries, namely: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Algeria, Central African Republic, and Chad.

Press release - Sida (in Swedish) 


Sweden gets top ranks for gender equality work in global health

The Swedish International development agency, Sida, is at the forefront of gender equality work in global health, according to the 2018 Global Health Report 50/50 published on March 8th.

In a response to the 2018 report from the international initiative Global Health 50/50, the Swedish State Secretary for international development, Ulrika Modéer, published an op-ed on the development platform ‘Biståndsdebatten’ in which she applauded the work of Sida, especially in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights. She also calls for continued work to engage boys and men in global health, increase the proportion of female managers in global health actors, and create workplaces that are free from sexism.

Debate article - Bistå (in Swedish)

Publication - Global Health 50/50 Report

Sweden Global health

Swedish Minister for Gender Equality appointed as new Deputy Executive Director of UN Women

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Åsa Regnér as Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, UN Women. Since 2014 Regnér has been the Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality in the Swedish Government. She has extensive experience in the area of gender equality and women’s empowerment, having held various leadership positions in government, NGOs, and the United Nations. She succeeds Lakshmi Puri of India, who served in this role at UN Women during the past eight years.

The government has appointed Lena Hallengren as the new Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality. Hallengren has announced that her main platform will be questions relating to the elderly and welfare support.

Press release – United Nations  

Press release – Swedish government (in Swedish)

Press release –Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish)

Global Sweden

Sweden launches new development cooperation strategy with Sudan

The Swedish Government has adopted a new strategy for development cooperation with Sudan for the period 2018-2022. Through the strategy Sweden aims to contribute to sustainable peace, improved delivery of social services, and enhanced resilience in Sudan. The indicative financial envelope for the strategy is SEK1.2 billion (US$140 million) for the five-year period.

Press release - Swedish government (in Swedish)



Sweden adopts new strategy for promoting sustainable use of natural resources

The Swedish government has adopted a new five-year strategy for Sweden's global development cooperation to promote sustainable use of natural, climate, and marine resources for the period 2018-2022. The new strategy ensures funding for climate and marine issues is secured for the coming five-year period, beyond the next general elections in Sweden. 

The strategy is directly aligned with a number of the Sustainable Development goals (SDG) of the 2030 Agenda, namely targeting:

  • SDG 6: Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7: Sustainable Energy for All 
  • SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities 
  • SDG 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production 
  • SDG 13: combat climate change 
  • SDG14: sea and marine resources
  • SDG 15: ecosystems and biodiversity

The strategy will strive to find synergies between the goals to have the greatest possible impact. The strategy is expected to cost SEK6.5 billion (US$759 million) for the five-year period.

Press release - Swedish government (in Swedish) 



Sweden to be co-president of the Green Climate Fund Board in 2018

Sweden has been elected co-chair of the Green Climate Fund's Board in 2018, together with Nicaragua. The Swedish government has appointed Ambassador Lennart Båge to lead the work. Båge has a long-term career in the Swedish foreign affairs administration: he was the head of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) from 2001-2009, chairman of the initial resource mobilization of the Green Climate Fund in 2014, and Director General of the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) from 2016-2017.

Sweden is one of the top six donors to the fund and is the single largest donor per capita. Sweden has pledged US$581 million USD (SEK4.9 billion SEK) to the Fund. In per capita terms this equates to US$59.31. By comparison, Germany commits an equivalent of US$12.4 and Denmark US$12.73 per capita.

Press release – Swedish government 


Swedish sustainable development champion appointed co-chair of PIK

Johan Rockström, a Swedish professor and founder of the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), has been appointed head of the German Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), starting in October 2018.

Rockström has been the head of the SRC for the past twelve years and has led global dialog and research on Planetary Boundaries for sustainable development. Rockström is an influential voice in Sweden, and globally, for sustainable development. It advocates the need for interdisciplinary research and solutions to global problems. He is also part of the Swedish 2030 Agenda delegation, tasked with leading and tracking Sweden’s work toward the Sustainable Development Goals. At PIK, Rockström will share the chairmanship with PIK's current Vice President, Professor Ottmar Edenhofer.

News article - Effekt Magasin (in Swedish) 



Swedish payment for OECD DAC chair faces criticism at home

Swedish financial support for the candidacy of Charlotte Petri Gornitzka for chairman of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) has come under fire from development actors in Sweden, including parliamentarians, government officials, and civil society. Critics argue that the OECD members should share the cost of the chairmanship instead of awarding the position to the highest bidder.

In 2016, the Swedish government paid SEK12.4 million (US$1.4 million) for Ms Gornitzka's candidacy and an additional SEK4.8 million (US$560,000) for an advisor in the OECD secretariat. Sweden's Minister for Development Cooperation, Isabella Lövin, says that this was in line with regular procedure at the OECD. Gornitzska was elected as chairman of the OECD DAC in the summer of 2016 for a two-year commission.

News article - Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish)


Swedish policy on foreign affairs in 2018 to focus on security and gender equality

The Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström, has presented the government policy on foreign affairs for 2018 to Parliament. The statement focuses on peace and security, which has been high on the agenda due to Sweden’s seat at the United Nations (UN) security council. Sweden's feminist foreign policy is also emphasized, with a specific focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

The Minister reaffirmed Sweden’s committent to its 1% target of gross national income (GNI) to official development assistance (ODA) and indicated that Sweden will advocate for other countries to reach the UN target of 0.7%.

An editorial in Dagens Nyheter has criticized the foreign policy statement as being weak especially with regards to China and its human rights record.

Statement - Swedish government (in Swedish)

News article - Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish)


Swedish civil society criticizes Global Fund cooperation with Heineken

Following the announcement of a partnership between the second largest beer producer globally, Heineken, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a series of prominent Swedish actors have spoken out in criticism.

The general secretary of the Swedish Mission Council, the chairman of the Swedish United Nations Association, and the head of Sweden’s youth sobriety organization have, in a recent article, called on the Minister of Development Cooperation to work towards ending such a partnership. The three cite Sweden's planned contribution of SEK2.5 billion (US$292 million) to the fund, and the connection between alcohol consumption and both HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, drawing attention to studies demonstrating alcohol's part in facilitating the spread of these diseases, its negative effects on treatment, and its links to deaths among tuberculosis sufferers. 

While emphasizing the need for cooperation between the private and public sector to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, the three suggest there is a need to be wary of such relationships when there is much to gain for one partner.

News article - Biståndsdebatten (in Swedish) 

Sweden Global health