Sweden channels aid funds to more than 70 different multilateral organisations. Development Minister Gunilla Carlsson says consolidation is necessary and considers reducing the number receiving support. A new Swedish multilateral aid strategy harshly criticises earmarked funds to multilateral agencies handled by Sida.
For the first time, Sweden is raising at the political level with Vietnamese authorities the sensitive issue of problems in Cambodia caused by dams being built in Vietnam, Development Today has learned. Sweden and Norway have financed hydropower planning in Vietnam since 1999.
In an interview with Development Today, the Swedish branch of the humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières expresses disappointment at Sweden’s lack of a strong focus on treatment in its efforts to combat HIV/AIDS. The latest WHO figures indicate that the goal of universal access to AIDS drugs by 2010 will not be reached. WHO predicts that 50 per cent of the people requiring ART by 2010 will not receive it.
Support for Africa, debt relief excluded, is basically flat, despite donors’ promises to double aid to Africa by 2010. These are the disappointing results of the figures for 2006 released by the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee.
Sweden is now the world’s best aid performer, while Norway’s aid level has dropped. Norway is also one of a few countries that failed to meet its own target for following up promises made at the 2002 Monterrey conference on financing development.