Policy Updates

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Sweden pledges addition US$14 million in humanitarian assistance to Sudan

December 5, 2023 | Sweden, Nutrition, Education, Agriculture, Agricultural R&D, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, WASH & Sanitation, Global Health | Share this update

On December 5, 2023, Sweden announced an additional SEK149 million (US$14 million) to address the escalating needs of the civilian population in Sudan amid ongoing armed conflict, which erupted in April and has severely impacted living conditions.

The additional funding brought Sweden's humanitarian assistance to Sudan in 2023 to SEK355 million (US$34 million). The assistance package is channeled through Sida and detailed the following allocations:

  • OCHA and UNICEF: SEK89 million (US$9 million);
  • Mercy Corps: SEK25 million (US$2 million). Mercy Corps is a humanitarian organization focused on food security. The funds are allocated to enhance the production capabilities and self-sufficiency of small-scale farmers, particularly women, and is expected to benefit 10,000 farmers; and
  • UNHCR: SEK35 million (US$3 million) will support the OHCHR in its efforts to monitor and document human rights abuses in Sudan.
Press release - Government of Sweden

Team Europe pledges US$21.8 billion for clean energy at COP28

December 2, 2023 | Sweden, France, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, EUI, Climate | Share this update

On December 2, 2023, the EU institutions, the EIB, the EBRD, and the Member States that comprise Team Europe pledged EUR20 billion (US$21.8 billion) for clean energy partnerships with African partners.

The funding announcement listeed EUR3.4 billion (US$3.7 billion) in grants and covered the period from 2021-2027. The project, AEGEI, aims to produce over 50 Gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030.

12 EU Member States contributed to the funding. No language regarding specific partner countries was included in the announcement.

Press release - EU Commission

Sweden pledges US$7 million to rebuild Ukrainian educational infrastructure

November 17, 2023 | Sweden, Education | Share this update

On November 17, 2023, in response to the devastating impact of Russia's 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which has led to the damage or destruction of over 3000 educational facilities, the Swedish government pledged SEK75 million (US$7 million) to the UNESCO Emergency Fund to renovate and reconstruct Ukranian educational facilities

This contribution is part of Sweden's broader development assistance to Ukraine, which has totaled over SEK3 billion (US$290 million) since the current government took office in 2021. The pledge is a direct response to the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science's request for assistance in rebuilding the education sector.

Sweden's contribution aims to enable thousands of Ukrainian children and students to resume in-person education and activities crucial for their social and mental well-being. The support is additionally slated to address the need for functioning shelters, which play a vital role in enabling parents to work while children are in school.

Swedish Minister for Schools Lotta Edholm emphasized the importance of ensuring that education continues without significant interruptions and that schools and preschools remain safe havens for children. The Swedish contribution will facilitate the installation of essential facilities for WASH services, heating, and insulation, as well as ensuring accessibility and providing psychosocial support and physical activities for children.

Press release - Press Release - Government of Sweden

Sweden increases humanitarian assistance to Gaza

November 14, 2023 | Sweden | Share this update

On November 9, 2023, Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell participated in a conference in Paris aimed at supporting the civilian population in Gaza.

Hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, the conference brought together donors and international assistance organizations. Discussions focused on improving humanitarian access and addressing the ongoing shortage of essential supplies in Gaza.

Forssell highlighted the dire situation of Palestinian civilians and emphasized Sweden's commitment to facilitating the delivery of life-saving aid. He remarked on the critical need for increased humanitarian access to assist those affected in Gaza. Forssell underscored Sweden's role as a significant donor to Palestine, providing essential core support to organizations active in Gaza. This support was directed to organizations operating in Gaza in order to expand their operations quickly and effectively meet the needs of those in crisis.

On November 2, 2023, the Swedish government announced a humanitarian assistance package of SEK150 million (US$13.8 million) to Gaza.

Press release - Press Release - Government of Sweden

AidWatch 2023 report finds EU inflates ODA by 22%

October 18, 2023 | EUI, Germany, Sweden, Education | Share this update

On October 18, 2023, Concord released its 2023 AidWatch Report and found that EUR20 billion (US$21.2 billion), or 22% of ODA from the EU and its Member States, was allocated to budget lines that do not directly benefit partner countries.

Concord has published AidWatch Reports annually since 2005 in an effort to provide accountability for the EU and its Member States in meeting the goal of providing 0.7% GNI/ODA.

Examining EU and Member State ODA in 2022, the report found that of the ODA that did not directly benefit partner countries, the three largest categories of "double counted" or "inflated" ODA included:

  • EUR13.9 billion (US$14.7 billion) went to in-donor refugee costs to for those fleeing the war in Ukraine, allocations which are at times reported as ODA at the Member State level;
  • EUR2.8 billion (US$3 billion) supported imputed student costs, or funding for students from partner countries studying in the donor country; and
  • EUR1.7 billion resulting from a method of calculating and reporting ODA loans as grants, which distorted the actual value of the support.

Accounting for inflated ODA, the report found that only two Member States, Luxembourg and Sweden, met the 0.7% ODA/GNI ratio, while Germany's ratio fell to near .69%.

The report noted that these observations comprised the continuation of skewed reporting trends in the EU and Member States. It recommended increasing ODA spending to meet the goal of 0.7% ODA/GNI, not counting in-donor refugee costs as ODA, and reforming ODA reporting to ensure assistance achieves maximum impact, among others.

News article - ConcordReport - AidWatch 2023

Sweden pledges US$28 million to bolster Moldova's energy infrastructure

October 17, 2023 | Sweden, Gender Equality, Climate | Share this update

On October 17, 2023, Sweden committed EUR26 million (US$28 million) to strengthen Moldova's energy provisions, aiming to safeguard Moldova’s most vulnerable households during the winter and invest in the country's long-term energy infrastructure and efficiency.

Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell noted the severe impact of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Moldova's infrastructure and stability.

EUR17 million (US$18 million) of the funding is earmarked for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to augment its initiatives in Moldova. The remaining EUR9 million (US$10 million) will be allocated to an energy fund set up by Moldova and the UNDP to assist high-risk households during the winter.

Sweden has maintained a strong history of support to Moldova as one of its primary bilateral development assistance donors. Sweden has previously provided close to EUR17 million (US$18 million) in 2023 for ongoing reform initiatives in Moldova as part of Moldova's growing alignment with the EU. The initiatives aimed to prioritize democracy, human rights, gender equality, peaceful development, market economic progression, and ecological and climate sustainability.

Press release - Press Release - Government of Sweden

Sweden outlines development priorities

September 26, 2023 | Sweden, Gender Equality, Climate | Share this update

On September 23, 2023, Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström presented Sweden's development priority statement at the 78th UN General Assembly.

In a speech predominantly centered on Ukraine, Billström emphasized Russia's tactics of weaponizing food, exacerbating the global food crisis. He pointed out Russia's recent imposition of its blockade against grain shipments across the Black Sea, which is restricting food supplies to many, including some of the world's most vulnerable populations.

Sweden underscored the need for the UN to persistently seek enhanced effectiveness and efficiency, particularly at the national level. Billström called for development assistance to work synergistically with trade, private investment, improved access to capital, and domestic resource mobilization.

Billström highlighted the pivotal role of MDBs in achieving the SDGs. He asserted that MDBs are instrumental in innovating financing methods and mobilizing substantial finances, including private capital and domestic resources. Sweden supported the modification of the MDB business model to address global challenges more effectively, ensuring that poverty reduction and climate change remain central to their mission.

Billström also highlighted the urgent need to mobilize climate finance from both public and private sectors, and to amplify support for local resilience and climate adaptation. Sweden pledged its continued commitment to adaptation and urged other nations to increase their contributions.

Sweden underlined that human rights, democracy, and the rule of law are essential for development. Billström stated that the rights of women and girls, as well as SRHR, are fundamental to development and are foundational for democracy.

Speech - Sweden's National Statement at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Sweden presents 2024 ODA budget

September 20, 2023 | Sweden, Gender Equality, Global Health | Share this update

On September 20, 2023, the Swedish government presented its 2024 budget proposal to Parliament, which showed an approximately SEK56 billion (US$5.5 billion) allocation to ODA.

Additional costs covered by the budget encompass assessed contributions to the EU, MFA management costs, and in-donor refugee costs, which comprise 3% of the total budget with an 8% cap on the use of ODA to cover in-donor refugee costs.

Sweden has exceeded the UN DAC target of 0.7% ODA/GNI since 1975. However, in September 2022, Sweden's then newly-elected right-wing government announced that it was ending the country's commitment to achieve 1% of its ODA/GNI and set ODA at SEK56 billion (US$5.5 billion) annually for 2023-2025, which is projected as approximately 0.88% ODA/GNI.

The budget lacked detailed information on specific allocations, but rather outlined general policy priorities. Sweden's international development cooperation priorities remain the promotion of Agenda 2030; poverty reduction; health initiatives for the most vulnerable; support for democracy aid to human rights defenders and champions of democracy; expanded and streamlined climate assistance; and women’s and girls’ rights and opportunities, including improved SRHR.

The 2024 ODA budget is slated to emphasize counteracting irregular migration, increasing repatriation, and contributing effectively to voluntary returns, as well as addressing the root causes of migration.

Synergy between Sweden’s global trade, export promotion, climate, foreign, and ODA policies was another priority. Sweden named a single minister responsible for both development assistance and foreign trade. The government also emphasized the importance of promoting ODA effectiveness metrics in development cooperation.

Ukraine remained Sweden’s main ODA recipient and priority, dedicating SEK6 billion (US$540 million) to Ukraine from 2023 to 2027. The Swedish government adopted a reconstruction and reform cooperation strategy with Ukraine on July 17, 2023, which included humanitarian assistance, financial backing, reconstruction initiatives, and support for civil crisis response capabilities.

Global health remained a priority in the 2024 budget, with particular emphasis on the creation of societal conditions for good and equitable health for the most vulnerable. There was further emphasis on promoting health systems that are effective, sustainable, and resilient. Another area of focus included SRHR and improved preparedness and capacity to detect and manage outbreaks of pandemics, diseases, and other health threats. The budget emphasized that Sweden will continue its efforts to increase global vaccination coverage, including against COVID-19.

According to OECD data, Sweden’s total ODA to health in 2020 was US$594 million, making it the 9th-largest DAC donor in absolute terms. Sweden’s multilateral ODA to health represented 43% of its total health ODA.

Government document - Sweden 2024 Budget (in Swedish)

Sweden reaffirms Ukraine commitment

September 14, 2023 | Sweden | Share this update

On September 14, 2023, in its annual Statement of Government Policy to Parliament, the Swedish Government emphasized that the defense of Ukraine’s freedom and sovereignty will remain the top Swedish foreign policy in upcoming years.

The statement highlighted that Sweden ranks among the top ten global donors to Ukraine. Sweden has contributed more than SEK25 billion (US$2.5 billion) in support. Sweden also recently unveiled a development cooperation strategy for Ukraine, the country's most comprehensive bilateral ODA strategy to date.

Speech - Statement of Government Policy (in Swedish)

Sweden increases Ukraine support to US$2.4 billion

August 19, 2023 | Sweden | Share this update

On August 19, 2023, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson hosted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Speaker of the Sweden's parliament, the Swedish Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and leaders representing Sweden's political parties to announce an increase in Sweden's support to Ukraine.

Sweden's committed support for Ukraine totals SEK26 billion (US$2.4 billion). The assistance has encompassed humanitarian assistance, financial backing, reconstruction initiatives, and support for civil crisis response capabilities.

The Swedish government adopted a reconstruction and reform cooperation strategy with Ukraine on July 17, 2023, dedicating SEK6 billion (US$54 million) to the endeavor.

Press release - Government of Sweden






US$ amounts are cited directly from sources; in the absence of an official conversion, they are calculated using the previous week's average of the US Federal Reserve's daily exchange rates.

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