A new untied Swedish mixed credit programme to fund infrastructure projects - potentially worth billions of crowns annually - is expected to be given a green light by the government in a few weeks. Sida expects strong demand for the new scheme as investors are pulling out of Africa due to the global financial crisis.
Norwegian politicians have failed to deal with the chronic problems of the mixed credits scheme, and it is now being closed down. Projects worth hundreds of millions of crowns have piled up at Norad. They may never be implemented.
The aid-financed risk capital fund Norfund says pulling out of tax havens may cause the agency to lose investments amounting to several hundreds of millions of crowns. Norfund warns that the Norwegian Foreign Ministry’s ban on new investments in tax havens outside the OECD will cause problems for several new investments currently being planned.
Three and a half years ago, the Nordic governments decided to close down the Nordic Development Fund. Now they have changed their minds, following strong pressure from Finland and Nordic institutions. NDF is being remade into grant giver with EUR 90 million available for climate projects.
Danish companies are not guaranteed contracts in connection with the new Danish renewable energy programme in China. These will be tendered by competitive bidding, the Foreign Ministry in Copenhagen tells Development Today. The tying of contracts for the on-going wind energy programme to Danish firms violated Denmark’s aid procurement policy.
Four years ago, the Finnish Foreign Ministry indicated it would improve its statistics system to cover aid procurement activities. Today, the Ministry still has no overview of the aid funds it spends on development consultancy services.