An interim report from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), released on July 31, 2020, shows that Sweden has invested SEK 1.3 billion (US$144 million) of official development assistance (ODA) to combat the effects of COVID-19 in low-income countries. At the time of publication, Sida reported that it did not require any additional funding or further redistribution of its budget for its COVID-19 responses.
"This is because our strategies provide such a great deal of flexibility," said Carin Jämtin, Director General of Sida. "They're on country level in most places. There are some regional strategies as well, but in a country where we operate, there could be, for example, three areas in which we should work, such as democracy and human rights, climate and the environment, and education. How we work in these areas are decisions that we can make ourselves, without asking the government to make a new government decision."
On May 15, 2020, Sida was instructed by the Minister for International Development Cooperation, Peter Eriksson, to report back to the Swedish government by October 15 on how COVID-19 has affected Sweden's international development cooperation as well as propose measures to address consequences of the pandemic in developing countries and the need for additional ODA.
Currently, Sida is implementing 44 different development strategies, out of which implementation of 16 has been negatively affected by the pandemic: an additional six as compared to March 2020. The areas affected have mainly been related to food security, health care, and democracy and human rights. In addition, Sida’s presence in the field has been affected by some expatriate staff being called back in the spring. The objective is to have all staff return to their posts by the end of August.
Currently, Sida’s priorities for 2021-2023 remain stable, with the acknowledgement that there is still considerable uncertainty about future developments. An in-depth analysis of the situation will be delivered to the government by mid-October of 2020
Press release – Omvärlden (in Swedish)