NGOs in Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and China have raised alarm about renewed plans to build six large dams on the lower mainstream of the Mekong river. They fault the Mekong River Commission for remaining silent and urge donors to get tough.
An error in the Auditor General’s critical report on Swedish NGO aid is deflecting attention from deeper problems in the aid agency’s internal control systems. Gina Funnemark, Audit Director at the Swedish Auditor General's office, regrets the error, but insists that Sida’s problems with monitoring corruption extend far beyond NGO aid.
Finland now has an aid policy that focuses heavily on ecological sustainability. Paavo Väyrynen, Finnish Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, says it is only a matter of time before other donors follow suit.
Following the controversial report by the Swedish Auditor General of NGO aid, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) is looking for an auditor to conduct an in-depth investigation of 12 of the 15 projects investigated by the auditors.
Last August the Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg cancelled his prestigious Global Business Plan for health aid. The United Kingdom was worried that it would be seen to compete with PM Gordon Brown’s International Health Partnership in an already crowded global health aid arena.
One noteworthy result of the SIFO survey of Swedish public opinion on aid for 2007 was a marked increase in the number of Swedes who said they would personally like to do something to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals.