• Sweden's news in English

Sweden tops EU development aid list

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 10 Jun 2010, 14:19

Published: 10 Jun 2010 14:19 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Sweden allocated 1.12 percent of GDP to development aid in 2009, ahead of second-placed Luxembourg on 1.01 percent, new statistics from AidWatch and Concord Europe show.

The EU country which allocated the least to development aid was found to be Bulgaria, which spent 0.04 percent and Romania with 0.08 percent.

Concord - the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development - is an umbrella organisation for aid organisations and one of its activities is to monitor member states' adherence to the Millennium Development Goals.

In its new report, entitled "Penalty against Poverty: More and Better EU aid can score Millennium Development Goals", Concorde argues that EU member states are "missing their official development aid targets and jeopardising global efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals".

The report, compiled annually by AidWatch, forecasts that Sweden is all set to meet its one percent of GDP goal on development aid spending for 2011 but warns that by shifting some aid spending to climate measures Sweden is in breach of the Kyoto Protocol.

AidWatch meanwhile directs criticism at several EU countries for not doing enough to meet the 0.56 percent target agreed in 2005.

"Penalty against Poverty finds that EU development aid in 2009 amounted to €49bn ($60 billion) or 0.42% of national income – €1 billion less than 2008 levels. Official estimates for 2010 put total EU aid at 0.46% of national income, far short of the 0.56% target for 2010 agreed by member states back in 2005."

Story continues below…

Concord writes that aid spending for 2010 is set to record a shortfall on this goal on €11bn in funding "with some of the EU’s biggest economies – Italy (€4.5bn), Germany (€2.6bn) and France (€800m) – amongst the worst offenders."

While the organisation accepts that the worst fears of a global food crisis and economic backlash outlined in the 2009 report have not been realized, it projects that 63 million people will fall under the international poverty line - set by the World Bank at $1.25 per day at 2005 purchasing-power parity (PPP).

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

15:36 June 10, 2010 by Nemesis
That money would be better spent repairing and building infrastructure in Sweden. More high speed reailway lines and reduced fares would help people in Sweden to get about.

That money could be used to decrease unemployment, reduce taxes or invest in education and healthcare.
15:55 June 10, 2010 by AdamVikingen
The problem my friend is that our current government does not care about such things! They want more that Sweden should "Look" good instead of being good! Thats why they want to make everything that still today is under government owned status should become private owned instead so that the state should not need to spend money on such things!

This is why so many people cant get by so good today in Sweden for example so has "Every" pregnancy in Sweden today only the most conmen medicines in but not any medicine that might not be some conmen because those medicines are to expensive for the owners to pay, so instead many people have to walk around without there medicine witch they need wary badly!

Not too long ago an old women committed suicide because everything became to hard for her and the government refused to give her any help, the government even wanted her to "Work" even though her doctor had said she was not allowed to work any more, that of course this far-right government did not care about! Does not that say a little about how worthless the "alliance" actually is!
16:09 June 10, 2010 by StockholmSam
Nemesis, if you help other nations develop, then you create markets for Swedish exports. The domestic Swedish market cannot create enough demand for products made in Sweden and Swedes would lose jobs. Surely you can see how bad this would be. Fostering prosperity and political stability in other nations can put more Swedes to work in Swedish factories or providing services to the global market. Sweden's has a surplus, but it is not very strong. Swedish products are generally expensive and so it is in our interest to create buyers for our products. If you keep other nations poor, expensive products will not sell there. Development aid is the first step toward prosperity and political stability, although it is fraught with problems as we all know.
16:33 June 10, 2010 by Ilaith
@AdamVikingen: I don't really agree with your statement.

FIrst of all, the current Swedish governmental aid program was instated by the former social democrat government. The current government has simply failed changing it. Thus you could say that both the government and opposition have agreed on it, both are to blame.

Second of all the numbers seem to include private donors and private organisations. Neither government nor opposition have the power to magically make normal people donate. So you could say that the Swedish people, as people, simply are generous and have a decent amount of empathy.

Unfortunately I had some trouble understanding your second paragraph. I'd suggest some punctuation to make it readable.

You are correct that the elder woman commited suicide and the reason behind her. It should however be noted that the government has no real powers when it comes to situations like these. They suggest and create rules/laws however it is the responsability of Försäkringskassan to make the decisions.

So it's simply Försäkringskassan that has failed and not followed the existing rules. Should you happen to read the laws we're talking about you would notice that the woman would have had the right to money.

It is then up to landstinget (or the kommun in some cases) to finance this. Remember that the parties controlling the Riksdag and are the current Government might not have been elected to the landsting. It is thus wrong to generalize the way you did as the government can hardly influence this

It should be noted that a majority of the employees of Försäkringskassan are social democrats, just the way it was when the system with landsting and försäkringskassan was instated by a social democrat government. Once again the current government has failed to change the systems so both are to blame because the system sucks.

In the case of the woman single people are to blame. I'd like to see both the försäkringskassa employee and the responsible people in the landsting where this happened fired.

Your claim, that our current government is far-right is quite an exaggeration. If your compare Alliansen to right-wing parties across Europe and the world you will notice that Alliansen would more likely qualify as social-liberal coalition with right-wing tendencies. Not even SD in Sweden are right-wing, just take a look at their programs that don't "deal" with immigration, especially their economic policies are more left than right.

Personally I find it tragic that Sweden doesn't have a real right-wing party. There's just a big empty void between Alliansen and the Nazis that should be filled. But I suppose in a country with 60 years of socialist indoctrination with some liberal-socialist propaganda inbetween there will never be a right-wing party in Sweden.

And yes I'm currently planning on moving somewhere else...
17:27 June 10, 2010 by Earandur Lissesul
Well our last government the Labour Party in the UK has bankrupted the country, the debts will take a generation to pay off. Big savings and spending cuts have to be made so what has the latest Coalition Govt done, ring fenced the Overseas Aid Development Budget. The millions that have been poured into Africa defies belief for what? Where's the progress more to the point where has all the money gone? To fund tin pot dictators military arsenals and their wives shopping sprees to Paris, London and elsewhere. I'm afraid in times of financial restraint charity should begin at home. I have read the various comments above with interest but am of the opinion it's about time these countries stood on their own two feet, while we give them handouts why should they bother. I repeat these handouts have been going on for decades, where's the progress and political development?
17:29 June 10, 2010 by Audrian
I think, Norway, none EU member, spends about US$ 2.0 per capita.

@Nemesis - Why give aid?

Assisting poor economies serves three functions: (a) too much greed is destructive. (b) giving assistance also makes sense from the point of view of global warning, as consumption in developing countries is much less carbon intensive. (c) It is politically savvy to assist. Swedish people are the most liked in developing countries, e.g., South Africa, mineral rich country; it is a fast growing economy; there is trade trade advantage in this.

Is aid useful for developing countries?

Most aid (including loan) is not effective, because it is either tied or it it is ment to shore up corrupt dictatores. The aid recipient countries are required to spend most or all money they receive on goods produced by the assisting countries, even when there are cheaper alternatives in other countries. Some of the most incompetent consults travel to work in developing countries through this mechanism.

Developing countries prefer free trade than foreign aid, but the lobby system in industrial countries does not allow this. They want their production protected. Thus, developing countries continue to loose to the tune of about US$120b per year because of protective tariff . The aid they are receiving, which is about $60b per year, does not come close to compensating them.
23:43 June 10, 2010 by sendia
for all those people who crib about Sweden not doing enough for the developing countries!
21:00 June 11, 2010 by AdamVikingen

Are you blind or what? Social-liberal? have you even seen the huge difrences betwean the parties? The Moderates are Conservationists, Folkpartiet is Social-liberal!

I have problem believing you in this, social-propaganda? there is no such thing in Sweden as propaganda! the only propaganda here is pins, stickers and the commercials that always appear before the election!

The Moderate party is even trying to take idés from the Republicans in the US, why do you even think they called themselves for the "New Workers Party"? because the republicans are the party most US workers vote for, and look at history! Whats the difference in between the Prtys in historical votes?

Females right to Vote:

Moderaterna - No

Socialdemokraterna - Yes

The Apartheid (supporting it)

Moderaterna - Yes

Socialdemokraterna -No

8 hours workday

Moderaterna - No

Socialdemokraterna - Yes

Free healthcare

Moderaterna - No

Socialdemokraterna - Yes
13:50 June 19, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
It would seem that Nemesis is in essential agreement with the Sweden Democrats, at least that such money should be spent in doing other kinds of good, local-ly:

Today's headlines
Fake police car driver seized after confronting real police
File photo of a police car. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Three men in a fake police car were left red-faced after they tried to stop a man in southern Sweden who turned out to be an off-duty officer.

This tiny bird can fly for ten months straight: scientists
The common swift while not in flight. Photo: Madis Veskimeister/Wikimedia

Swedish scientists have found that this bird stays in the air for almost a year without landing.

Why the Pope is visiting Sweden next week
Pope Francis in the Vatican. Photo: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

Pope to nail reconciliation agenda to Lutherans' door in southern Sweden.

The Local Recipes
How to make no-knead sourdough bread like a Swede
No-knead sourdough bread. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Swedes love their sourdough bread. Food writer John Duxbury shares his favourite Swedish recipe for a no-knead loaf.

Meet Sweden's lonely Donald Trump voter
A Donald Trump campaign button. Photo: Rogelio V Solis/AP

The Local talks to an American Donald Trump supporter on what it is like living in progressive stronghold Sweden.

Forgotten Ingmar Bergman script to be made into a film
It's thought the script was part of an ill-fated collaboration between Bergman (left) and Federico Fellini (right). Photo: AP

Written in 1969, the script is 'up to the standard of his best', according to the Ingmar Bergman Foundation.

Sweden's consumption footprint 'among the worst'
Trucks transporting goods on a Swedish highway. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden has been criticized for its unsustainable consumption of the planet's resources in the latest edition of a major WWF study.

Video: How to be Joel Kinnaman for a day
Kinnaman with one of the camera rigs that will allow people inside his head. Photo: Tele2

The Swedish Hollywood actor will strap a camera to his head, stream it live and allow viewers to interact with him this weekend.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
How Stockholm's cold climate boosts creativity
Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

Do long, dark winters actually make Swedes more creative and more productive? We spoke to Stockholm startups to find out.

Sweden to keep record-low interest rate in 2017
Sweden's landmark negative interest rate will continue towards 2018. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The Swedish central bank said that it will take longer than expected to reach its inflation target.

Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
People-watching: October 26th
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available