Sweden increases humanitarian aid to Libya

Sweden's government announced on Monday that it planned to increase its humanitarian aid to civil war-torn Libya by 10 million kronor ($1.6 million).

Sweden increases humanitarian aid to Libya

“Due to the dire humanitarian situation in Libya and the consequences for its neighbouring countries, Sweden is now contributing with additional aid to help the affected people,” Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson said in a statement.

The extra money, which has been dedicated to international efforts to evacuate non-Libyans who have fled to a third country to escape the violence, brings Sweden’s total aid contribution to the war-torn country since March to 60 million kronor, the statement said.

Sweden, which is not a member of NATO, has also agreed to limited participation in the operations against the regime of Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi by helping enforce the no-fly zone over Libya with eight fighter jets, but has said it would not take part in any ground strikes.

On Friday Swedish JAS Gripen fighter jets took part in NATO’s operation in the skies above Libya. The JAS Gripen were involved for around two and a half hours.

The mission was the first time Swedish planes had been involved in a conflict operation since the 1960s in what was then the Belgian Congo.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Former minister’s salary paid with aid money

Former minister Gunilla Carlsson, who resigned last week, had her monthly salary of 121,000 kronor ($19,000) paid for the last four years with money which was supposed to be spent on aid.

Former minister's salary paid with aid money

Carlsson, who was Minister for International Development Cooperation, stepped down a week ago as part of the cabinet reshuffle.

The decision to pay her salary with aid money was made by the ministry for foreign affairs (Utrikesdepartement) in 2009 after the department had its funding cut. It was then that the proposal was made to pay political salaries and expenses with money originally set aside for aid.

The move not only paid Carlsson’s salary, but also contributed to the salaries of her top civil servants to a total of 20 million kronor over the four-year period.

Foreign minister Carl Bildt said there was nothing strange about the move as it involves a range of expenses that does not count against the aid budget.

“It’s completely normal and has been for a number of years. This also happens in other countries albeit in slightly different ways,” said Bildt.

This is the first time a minister’s salary has been paid with aid money, Sveriges Radio (SR) reported. Carlsson and her staff received between five and six million kronor a year with her state secretary earning 91,800 kronor a month.

“I think it is a bit stingy,” Kenneth G Forslund, aid policy spokesperson for the Social Democrats, told SR.

“The aid budget is there to help the poor and oppressed,” he added.

It’s understood that the other aid spokespersons in the government alliance were unaware that Carlsson’s salary came out of the aid budget. Since January their salaries were no longer paid with aid money.

Carlsson has not revealed her next move since leaving government but said last week that she “truly had fun every day” during her stint as minister.

The Local/pr

Follow The Local on Twitter