In its final report to the Swedish government on the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, published October 15, 2020, the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) noted that, since the start of the pandemic, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance has increased dramatically and progress made over recent years at reducing poverty is currently at risk. As a consequence, Sida highlighted that the role of official development assistance (ODA) has become increasingly important for Sweden’s partner countries.
Director-General Carin Jämtin of Sida underlined that the pandemic "is not just a global health crisis, but a wider global crisis that exacerbates an already strained situation in many countries", and that many people in low-income and conflict-affected countries are at risk of falling back into poverty. Thus, Jämtin emphasized that Sweden needs to support long-term and environmentally-sustainable recovery in partner countries in order to be better equipped for future crises.
By September 2020, Sida had allocated SEK 1.3 billion (US$149 million) to combat the effects of COVID-19, and a large proportion Sida projects have been adjusted in dialogue with partners to take the pandemic into account. About half of this amount has been allocated toward strengthening health systems and alleviating the direct consequences of the COVID-19 virus. The remaining half has been allocated toward tackling the indirect consequences of the pandemic, e.g., effects on economic development, employment, and poverty.
Examples of Swedish support to combat the effects of COVID-19 include programs implemented by the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and UN-Habitat.
Examples of Swedish support that have been adapted include programs implemented by the World Bank and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
Press release – Sida (in Swedish)