On April 30, 2020, the Swedish government approved a new allocation of SEK 50 million (US$5 million) for the UN's COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund (COVID-19 MPTF). The fund will provide support to low- and middle-income countries in overcoming health and development issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to target those most vulnerable to economic hardship and social disruption.
The World Bank estimates that, as a result of the pandemic, 40-60 million people are currently at risk of extreme poverty. Furthermore, it is expected that the number of people suffering from acute food shortages will almost double and may reach 265 million. At the same time, the International Labor Organization (ILO) predicts that up to 195 million jobs could disappear due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
"If we do not take seriously the socio-economic effects of the corona crisis, we risk backing down decades in the fight against poverty, hunger, and development in parts of Africa. That is why it is important that we support the UN and inject funds to deal with this crisis in the longer term as well," said Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation, Peter Eriksson.
The new allocation comes in addition to the SEK 19 billion (US$1.9 billion) in core support Sweden already provides to the UN system.