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Canada contributes up to US$25 million to UN-affiliated BUILD Fund

Canada has committed up to CA$32 million (US$25 million) for the BUILD Fund, a blended impact investment vehicle to finance small and medium-sized businesses in low-income countries to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The Fund was established in partnership with the US, Norway, Luxembourg, Sweden, and the Nordic states through the Nordic Development Fund, and was announced at the UN Financing for Development Forum. The 6 member states have commited over US$60 million thus far.

Press release - UN Capital Development Fund

US$10.1 billion in new funding committed in 'Stand Up for Ukraine' campaign

Global Citizen, along with the European Commission and the Canadian government, launched a 'Stand Up for Ukraine' global social media rally on April 8, 2022. US$10.1 billion in funding - US$4.6 billion in grants and US$5.5 billion in loans) have been committed during the campaign, and 20,277 actions have been taken to support those fleeing their homes in Ukraine. 

The campaign culminated in a pledging event in Warsaw on April 9, 2022, to recognize Poland's essential role in supporting refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. Global Citizen called on donors to recognize the importance of utilizing this funding as both new and additional; specifically, the use of the funds should not undermine other development priorities, nor should it pit crises against each other. 

Canada: As a co-host of the campaign, Canada committed an additional CAD$100 million (US$79 million) in humanitarian support to Ukraine and neighboring countries with a particular focus on trauma care. Canada has provided CAD 245 million (US$194 million) since January of 2022 for the crisis. 

EU: The European Commission, a co-host of the campaign, committed €600 million (US$660 million) for Ukraine and €400 million (US$440 million) for refugees hosted in the EU.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) committed €4 billion (US$4.4 billion) for 2022-2023 to support EU member states hosting Ukrainian refugees and to develop social infrastructure. This contribution is a part of the EIB’s Ukraine Solidarity Package, under which the EIB has already provided a €668 million (US$755 million) financial aid package to Ukraine to help Ukrainian authorities meet the country’s “most urgent financial needs”, such as buying food, medical supplies, and fuel.

The Council of Europe Development committed €1 billion (US1.1 billion) in loans to member states to support countries hosting refugees. 

Italy: Italy pledged an additional €360 million (US$396 million) in humanitarian assistance for refugees in Europe. 

Sweden: Sweden committed €300 million (US$330 million) to in-country refugee hosts, specifying that the funding would not come out of the official development assistance (ODA) budget. 

Additional donors: Additional countries expressed their support for the campaign and reiterated existing funding promises. 

The Donor Tracker was included as one of the 77 signatories in the open letter to world leaders. 

Report - Global Citizen

News article - Global Citizen

Press release - European Commission

Press release - EIB

Female Foreign Ministers call on Taliban to let girls go to school

Liz Truss, the UK Foreign Minister issued a joint statement along with other 18 other female foreign Ministers from around the world, calling on the Taliban to live up to their commitment and allow girls in Afghanistan to go to secondary school.  

The statement which was co-signed by the Foreign Ministers of Albania, Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Estonia, Germany, Iceland, Indonesia, Kosovo, Libya, Liechtenstein, Malawi, Mongolia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Tonga, highlighted the Ministers' deep concerns that girls in Afghanistan were denied their right to attend secondary school this spring. The statement urged the Taliban to adhere to international conventions and to stop denying girls their right to education.

Joint Statement – UK government

Sweden’s new Minister for International Development Cooperation visits Rwanda, talks COVID-19 vaccines, climate

To follow up on Sweden’s recent COVID-19 vaccine donation to Rwanda, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation, Matilda Ernkrans, traveled to Kigali from February 20-23, 2022. During her visit, she met with Rwanda’s Minister of Health to also discuss the country’s efforts to initiate vaccine production.

Sweden donated one million doses of the Moderna vaccine to Rwanda in December of 2021. This was the first time Sweden made a direct vaccine contribution to another country, outside of COVAX. In addition, the donation included syringes.

During her visit, Minister Ernkrans also discussed Sweden's long-term development cooperation with Rwanda. In particular, she met with the Minister for the Environment to talk about Sweden’s support to Rwanda for climate and environment, including the production of climate-smart solutions. While in Kigali, Minister Ernkrans also visited the Swedish foundation Norrsken's business hub.

Press release – Government Offices of Sweden (in Swedish)

Sweden adopts new regional strategy for development cooperation with Africa

On February 18, 2022, Sweden approved a new five-year regional strategy for Sweden's development cooperation with Africa, covering 2022 to 2026. The strategy focuses on cross-border challenges and attempts to strengthen regional cooperation and integration in environment and climate, democracy and human rights, migration and development, economic integration, and peaceful and inclusive societies.

In addition, Sweden expects to help strengthen regional initiatives, including the African Union and will focus heavily on climate-related development efforts.

The new strategy, which will be implemented by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) as well as the Folke Bernadotte Academy, covers SEK 4.7 billion (US$514 million) in total, equivalent to SEK934 million (US$103 million) annually.

Press release – Government Offices of Sweden (in Swedish)

Sweden tops up contribution for UN’s Climate and Security Mechanism

With the objective of strengthening the UN's ability to analyze and manage climate-related security risks in low-income countries, Sweden announced it would increase its support for the UN’s Climate and Security mechanism (CSM) by up to SEK15 million (US$2 million) for the year on February 4, 2022. Specifically, the increased support will focus on reducing risks related to prolonged droughts, recurring floods, and forest fires, which often heighten the risk of conflict in climate-exposed and vulnerable low-income countries.

CSM has made significant contributions in Somalia, West Africa, and the Sahel region recently. The CSM, which is a collaboration between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the United Nations Department for Political and PeaceBuilding (DPPA), was initiated by Sweden in 2018. The Mechanism is currently funded by Sweden, Germany, Norway, the UK, and Ireland.

Press release – Government Offices of Sweden (in Swedish)

South Korea and Sweden strengthen bilateral cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines, digital cooperation

The Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) promoted cooperation with Sweden in multiple sectors such as health, economy, and trade. The two countries discussed specific issues such as COVID-19 vaccinations, the bio-health industry, and digital trade.

After signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between AstraZeneca and Korean bio-related associations for US$630 million from 2020 to 2024, South Korea believes it has contributed to the development of the bio-health industry and health improvement including the COVID-19 response. They also plan to host the 1st Korea-Sweden Industrial Cooperation Committee in 2022 to strengthen cooperation in supply chains such as bio-health, future cars, and the digital economy. This cooperation will contribute to stronger strategic partnerships in global health and economy between South Korea and Sweden.

Press release – Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy

News article – Korea (in Korean)

Funding for neglected diseases fell by 4% in 2020, says G-FINDER report

Policy Cures Research published its latest G-FINDER report entitled "Neglected Disease Research and Development: New Perspectives,' on January 27, 2022, which provides a comprehensive analysis of global investment in research and development to address neglected diseases in low-income countries in 2020. 

The report reviews the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and outlines the impact of the crisis on neglected tropical disease funding, which dropped 4% globally from 2019. With a total US$3.9 billion in funding, 2020 sits well above neglected disease funding's long-term average. 

Australia: Australia contributed US$46 million in neglected disease funding in 2020, prioritizing malaria, dengue, bacterial pneumonia & meningitis, hepatitis B and C, rheumatic fever, Buruli ulcer, and scabies. Australia is the third-largest public funder of neglected disease per capita, at US$3.39 per US$100,000 following the United States and United Kingdom. 

Canada: Canada contributed US$12 million to neglected disease funding in 2020, the ninth-largest public funder. 

EU: The European Commission was the third-largest public funder of neglected diseases in 2020; it was the only public funder to increase funding compared to 2019. The US$41 million increase (33%) to US$164 million was largely driven by support for tuberculosis research, which increased by US$23 million. 

France: France contributed US$40 million to neglected disease funding in 2020, the seventh-largest public funder, prioritizing Leptospirosis. 

Germany: Germany contributed US$55 million to public neglected disease funding in 2020, the fifth-largest funder. 

Japan: Japan contributed US$12 million in neglected disease funding in 2020, prioritizing Buruli ulcer and mycetoma, as the tenth-largest public funder.

Netherlands: The Netherlands contributed US$11 million in neglected disease funding in 2020, the eleventh-largest public funder. 

Sweden: Sweden contributed US$11 million in neglected disease funding in 2020, the twelfth-largest public funder. 

United Kingdom: The United Kingdom was the second-largest public contributor to neglected diseases with US$187 million in funding in both absolute and per capita terms. It has remained the second-largest funder for 5 years. It prioritized HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, diarrhoeal disease, kinetoplastid disease, helminth, Salmonella, dengue, bacterial pneumonia and meningitis, cryptococcal meningitis, snakebite envenoming, leprosy, scabies, and mycetoma research. 

United States: The United States remained the largest public funder of neglected diseases by far, following historical trends, with US$1.9 billion in total funding. It remained the top-funder in the neglected disease space in both absolute and per capita terms.

High-income country (HIC) governments provided the vast majority of global funding (63%), followed by the philanthropic sector (21%), industry (12%); the remaining 4% was divided between multilateral organizations and low- and middle-income country governments. 

The philanthropic sector provided US$823 million of funding for neglected diseases, an 3.6% increase from 2019. Top donors include the Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Open Philanthrophy, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Fundació La Caixa, and funds raised from the general public. Wellcome Trust and Open Philanthropy uped their contributions in 2020, making up the bulk of the increase in the philanthropic sector. 95% of all philanthropic funding for neglected diseases in philanthropy comes from the top three funders, Gates, Wellcome, and Open Philanthropy. 

While overall funding decreased minimally, G-FINDER is worried about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises on neglected tropical disease funding in the future. The team expects that widespread focus on the COVID-19 pandemic could take away from resources and attention funders might otherwise have given to neglected diseases. The immediate impact of COVID-19 is most evident, however, in clinical trials. Funding in this sector for neglected diseases fell by US$124 million, or a 10% drop from 2019, and is mainly attributed to difficulties in conducting trials due to lockdowns and travel restrictions. 

Report - Policy Cures Research

Executive Summary - Policy Cures Research

Sweden to donate additional 500,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to COVAX

On January 14, 2022, Sweden announced it will donate an additional 500,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to COVAX, the global vaccine initiative. In addition to Sweden’s financial contribution of SEK2 billion (US$220 million) to vaccine efforts against the COVID-19 virus, Sweden’s total vaccine donations are up to 9 million doses, which benefit low- and middle-income countries around the world.

To date, Sweden is one of the top per capita contributors to COVAX.  

Press release – Government Offices of Sweden (in Swedish)

Sweden increases support for Asia-Pacific region by more than 40% for 2022-2026

On December 18, 2021, the Swedish government approved a new regional strategy for international development cooperation with the Asia-Pacific region. The strategy covers 2022 - 2026, focusing on issues related to climate and environment, human rights, gender equality, democracy, and the rule of law. The new strategy envelope has increased by more than 40% due to Sweden’s decision to double its global climate assistance by 2025.

Sweden's Minister for International Development Cooperation highlighted regional and bilateral efforts in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Myanmar as priorities in the new envelope. Connections between environmental sustainability and human rights, democracy, and the rule of law – particularly for vulnerable groups - are evident in the region. Sweden will seek to integrate its various interventions to the largest extent possible in the new portfolio.

Press release – Government Offices of Sweden (in Swedish)

International Vaccine Institute to launch new office in Sweden

On December 17, 2021 Jerome Kim, head of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), signed a memorandum of understanding with Matilda Ernkrans, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation, to open IVI’s first European office in Stockholm, Sweden.

The IVI was founded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1997 and is based in Seoul, South Korea. An IVI delegation visiting Stockholm met with medical researchers as well as representatives from Sweden’s life science industry. Sweden hopes to use the new location to contribute to global fair access to vaccines and strengthen global health governance. 

IVI, which plays an important role in providing access to vaccines in low- and middle-income countries, has benefited from Swedish support to through official development assistance (ODA) since 2002.

Press release – Government Offices of Sweden (in Swedish)

Sweden approves US$461 million development cooperation strategy with Mozambique, increases focus on peace-building

On December 16, 2021, Sweden adopted a new strategy for its development cooperation with Mozambique, comprising SEK4.0 billion (US$461 million) for 2022 to 2026. The strategy continues to focus on Sweden’s priority areas: climate and environment; human rights, democracy, gender equality, and inclusive economic development. However, due to an increased focus on peace-building activities as a result of the conflict in Cabo Delgado province, the budget increased significantly.

Large parts of Mozambique's population are vulnerable to extreme poverty and climate change; in addition, many have been severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Sweden's development priorities in Mozambique will focus on supporting the country financially and with practical projects. 

The new strategy became effective on January 1, 2022.

Press release – Government Offices of Sweden (in Swedish)

After two years of school closures which kneecapped education efforts and more than tripled teen pregnancies, Sweden will help fund Ugandan national vaccination campaign

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Uganda has kept schools closed to minimize outbreaks of the virus. No other country in the world has kept schools closed as long as Uganda and it is estimated that almost 15 million Ugandan children and youth have lost close to two years of schooling with long-term consequences predicted for both individuals and society as a whole. In addition, school closings have contributed to a more than tripling of the teenage pregnancy rate in Uganda, which was already amongst the highest in the world. To accelerate COVID-19 vaccination and allow schools to reopen, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has allocated SEK 165 million (US$19 million) to UNICEF.

To date, despite access to vaccines, less than 5% of Uganda’s priority risk groups are vaccinated against COVID-19. Sida’s funding will allow UNICEF, in collaboration with the Ugandan government, WHO, and other partner organizations, to initiate a nationwide vaccination campaign that will run through February of 2022 and help ensure that more than five million vaccine doses nearing expiration in late January are utilized promptly.

Press release – Sida (in Swedish)

Sweden donates one million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Rwanda to be deployed before Christmas

On December 9, 3021, Sweden delivered one million Moderna COVID-19 excess vaccine doses to Rwanda. These doses, along with a donation of one million syringes, are expected to be utilized to vaccinate one million Rwandans before Christmas.

By the end of 2021, Sweden is expected to have donated ten million vaccine doses globally. However, this is the first time Sweden has provided vaccines directly to another country outside of the COVAX initiative, the reason being that COVAX is unable to distribute doses that have already been delivered to Sweden.

No one is safe from COVID-19 until everyone is safe, as the omicron variant shows”, said Minister for International Development Cooperation, Matilda Ernkrans.

To date, 66% of the Rwandan population has received first doses.

Press release – Government Offices of Sweden (in Swedish)

Sweden allocates an additional US$13 million for humanitarian support

As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of conflicts, and climate change, 274 million people are currently in need of humanitarian assistance globally, compared to 170 million in early 2020. In response to worsening humanitarian situations around the world, the Swedish government decided to increase its official development assistance (ODA) allocation for humanitarian support by SEK110 million (US$13 million).

The Swedish contribution will be channeled through additional core support for the UN Fund for Emergency Aid (CERF), the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), and the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). The funding will specifically target deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan and Ethiopia. 

Press release – Government Offices of Sweden (in Swedish)

Sweden allocates US$32 million for sustainable cooking, reduced deforestation Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia

Sweden recently announced US$32 million for a new fund supporting the development and scaling up of clean and sustainable cooking solutions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia. The Modern Cooking Facility for Africa (MCFA) will promote clean cooking markets and stimulate provision of clean and affordable energy solutions by providing performance-based financing for the private sector.  

Millions of people in the program's target countries still lack access to modern cooking options, disproportionately affecting women and girls; respiratory diseases are of particular concern. MCFA will focus on reducing wood and charcoal use, which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation. 

The fund has been jointly launched by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (Nefco) and aims to provide access to clean cooking solutions for up to three million people. MCFA will be managed by Nefco and aims to allocate €40 million (US$46 million) for its activities, thereby complementing the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa, which currently supports affordable clean electricity in five African countries. With its SEK 275 million (US$32 million) allocation, Sida is the first contributor to MCFA.

Press release – Sida (in Swedish)

Canada’s International Development Research Centre funds COVID-19 research projects on risk factors, artificial intelligence

Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is funding two new research projects in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the projects focuses on artificial intelligence (AI) and its possible role in pandemic public health decision-making in several countries across Africa, while the other project focuses on investigating risk factors contributing to COVID-19 infections. 

IDRC is funding AI for decision-making projects and working with research teams in Botswana, Nigeria, Eswatini, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa to develop data-powered official dashboards, which are viewed by more than 20,000 people daily. Researchers use the findings to inform COVID-19 policies and vaccine roll-out strategies, often working directly with policymakers on the ground. They also use findings to support communication strategies that address misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, prevention, and treatments to improve the public's knowledge about the pandemic. The project is co-funded by Sweden and is part of the Global South AI4COVID Program, which funds and facilitates multidisciplinary research focused on evidence-based AI approaches to support COVID-19 responses in low- and middle-income countries. 

Furthermore, the IDRC is funding a project through McMaster University’s Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) to study the causes of COVID-19 infections. To date, the team has collected information from 30,000 adults in 19 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Zimbabwe) on five continents. Early results of the study are showing that obesity is one of the most important risk factors contributing to a COVID-19 infection and that the pandemic had the greatest financial impact on people in low-income countries. The study is projected to continue for an additional year at least, depending on the course of the pandemic.

Press release - IDRC

Press release - IDRC

Sweden to host World Environment Day 2022, focusing on sustainable lifestyles

Sweden, together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), announced that it will host the annual World Environment Day on June 5, 2022. The primary focus of the day will be on transitioning to more sustainable lifestyles under the Only One Earth theme, reflecting topics from the UN’s first-ever environmental meeting held in Stockholm in 1972.

Sweden hopes that countries across the world will participate in organizing activities and events to highlight pressing environmental issues and showcase environmental initiatives.  

Press release – Government Offices of Sweden (in Swedish)

Sweden allocates US$242 million to UNRWA

On November 16, 2021, at an international conference in Brussels hosted by Sweden and Jordan, Sweden pledged SEK2.1 billion (US$242 million) to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) for the period 2022 to 2025. The purpose of the conference was to establish a sustainable financing model for UNRWA and thereby improve UNRWA’s ability to fulfill its humanitarian mandate.

The Swedish funding is earmarked for humanitarian support – primarily health care and education for Palestinian refugees – and is intended to improve funding predictability of UNRWA's core activities.

Interventions funded by the Swedish support are aligned with Sweden’s new strategic cooperation agreement with UNRWA and are expected to provide more than one-half million Palestinian children with an education and primary health care for over 2 million children and adults.

Press release – Government Offices of Sweden (in Swedish)

Sweden provides UNICEF guarantee for low- and middle-income countries' procurement of medical equipment

In collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has provided a public guarantee to UNICEF that will accelerate procurement processes for essential health care products and equipment in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The guarantee is expected to strengthen UNICEF’s ability to respond to disease outbreaks and other unpredictable global health challenges.

Sida will guarantee up to SEK456 million (US$53 million) until 2026 for medical equipment purchases. With the support of the guarantee, eligible countries will be able to purchase medical products through UNICEF when they are required and pay for them later. Sida has allocated close to SEK14 million (US$1.6 million) to cover potential losses, equivalent to expected catalytic financing of 30x Sida's inputs. Sida’s public guarantee framework totaled SEK17.0 billion (US$2.0 billion) in 2021.

Press release – Sida (in Swedish)