On February 25, 2021, Sweden decided to add SEK 50 million (US$6 million) to its regional strategy for development cooperation with 'sub-Saharan Africa'. The increased allocation will be used to strengthen democratic movements, which have been shown to be at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in southern Africa.
“The pandemic reinforces current inequalities and hits already marginalized groups hardest, suppressed by discrimination and against those living in poverty”, said Per Olsson Fridh, Minister for International Development Cooperation. “This decision gives new impetus to democratic forces and their ability to demand accountability, commitment, and organization."
The increased support will be directed toward strengthening the capacity to promote, anchor, and defend democracy of key actors in civil society, media, parliaments, faith-based organizations, and trade unions.