News / DT 14-15 / 2005

Denmark’s role in US-led coalition led to few contracts in Iraq

 
Immediately after the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Denmark moved fast to announce pledges of reconstruction and humanitarian aid and to position itself to reap potentially huge economic benefits. But initial optimism has been crushed by the reality of the security situation in Iraq. Aid funds remain unspent. All Danish NGOs but one have pulled their staff out of the country. And the expected rush of commercial contracts has simply failed to materialise.
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Corruption hotline: no Nordics follow Danish lead

 
The idea of establishing a hotline to help root out corruption in aid has been discussed in Norway, Sweden and Finland. But unlike Denmark, none of these countries has plans to create one.
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Sweden scales up support to UN and World Bank, Africa key priority

 
Sweden continues to step up its development assistance through the UN and the World Bank to record levels. In a few years, Sweden has doubled its funding of IDA and UN agencies like UNFPA, UNAIDS and the WFP. Swedish aid is rising by no less than 20 per cent next year. This is impressive, but it’s not quite the 1.0 per cent of GNI that the government claims. SEK 638 million of the budget frame, mainly for Eastern Europe, cannot be reported as aid to the OECD. Moreover, the Swedish aid administration will be hard pressed to swallow this increase. Last year unused Swedish aid funds from earlier aid budgets amounted to SEK 2.2 billion.
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Finnish NGOs receive large funding increase in 2006

 
The Finnish government’s budget proposals earmark just over EUR 670 million for development cooperation in 2006. This sum amounts to approximately 0.42 per cent of expected GNI.
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Sida, Swedfund must tighten rules to avoid bribery of foreign officials

 
In a report on Sweden’s compliance with the convention on combating bribery, the OECD recommends changes in the wording of Swedish aid-financed contracts to prevent the bribery of foreign officials.
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How government and donors destroyed the state

 
A report commissioned by Norway and the UK on Malawi shows corruption has become widespread over the past decade. Politicians and civil servants have destroyed the state’s capacity to make policy. Donors have made matters worse. The report warns against stepping up budget support in Malawi.
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Two new officials to handle Finnish aid policy

 
The Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has appointed two new officials to handle development policy. Marjatta Rasi becomes the new Under-Secretary of State for Development Policy. She replaces Pertti Majanen, who is now Finnish Ambassador to the OECD in Paris.
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