Swedish and Finnish NGOs are calling for comprehensive reforms in the mandates of the four Nordic export credit agencies (ECAs) in areas of transparency, human rights, environmental impact and corruption.
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The powerful Swedish aid agency Sida is up for scrutiny. The new government has given Sida several deadlines to report on its costs and performance, a move that could shake up the Swedish aid administration in the coming months. In its instructions to Sida, funds for humanitarian assistance, Africa and environmental aid are increased. The number of recipient countries will be reduced in the course of the year.
In 2007, Norway will be on the Boards of three main global health initiatives: the vaccine alliance GAVI, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis and the new medicine financing mechanism UNITAID. Development Today has spoken to Special Advisor Sigrun Møgedal who represents Norway on all three Boards.
A new evaluation of the DKK 5 billion in Danish aid given to Uganda over the past two decades praises Danida for its pioneering role in Uganda. The Danish aid programme is described as being ambitious, innovative, and persistent. In the early Museveni days, when the private sector, government systems and infrastructure were in shambles after decades of civil war and Uganda most needed foreign assistance, Danida moved in quickly, was willing to take risks, and established a unique partnership with the new regime.
In the wake of the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, the Red Cross movement collected the equivalent of over SEK 15 billion. A progress report marking the two-year anniversary of the catastrophe shows that just 11 per cent of this was spent on emergency relief.
Excluding half of the participants from any process kills the process itself. Yet this is precisely what happens in the majority of aid programmes run by official development assistance and NGOs: they leave women on the sidelines.