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Swedish aid money pays off third world debts

TT/The Local/rm · 15 Jul 2011, 08:13

Published: 15 Jul 2011 08:13 GMT+02:00

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But minister for international development cooperation, Gunilla Carlsson, is defending the practice.

“This isn’t something that we have started in recent days, it is part of a budget voted on and established by the Riksdag – it is both thoroughly debated and completely transparent,” she told news agency TT.

The total sum amounts to approximately a billion Swedish kronor ($153.5 million), of which 980 million is a claim on Congo.

About 50 million of this money is used to pay off the debt and the rest returns to the exchequer and can be used by the Swedish ministry of finance in any way they choose, according to TT.

But Gunilla Carlsson is adamant that the decision is in accordance with international regulations on how aid can be used.

Many aid organizations have complained against the way aid money is used to pay off debt. Often the loans were taken years ago by dictator regimes that never used it for aid in the first place but to finance military objectives or enrich the ruling families

But Carlsson thinks it is important to maintain credibility for state loans as a means to combat poverty.

Story continues below…

“The ambition is that the loan can be repaid and that there is credibility in the loan as an instrument. It is important that we don’t cancel debts to hastily,” she told TT.

TT/The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:48 July 15, 2011 by nlidukdese
While Carlsson may technically be right about international aid regulations, there's something very cynical about this. The Swedish government basically admits that its aid money won't help Congo and Togo to grow economically and thus generate the means to pay off their debts. Now does that say something about Congo and Togo, or about the effectiveness of Swedish aid?
09:40 July 15, 2011 by RobinHood
Reducing the debt burden on any country is useful aid, and essential for a sustainable economy.

If countries won't pay down crippling and destabilizing debt themselves, it's fair enough that Sweden steps in and does the job for them. Especially as the original loan was probably spent on AK47's and the president's Lear jet, and any further loans will almost certainly be spent in the same way.
09:46 July 15, 2011 by truthworthy
How about using the money to help the drought hit countries of east Africa such as Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. There is humanitarian crisis there and Sweden is absent, reclaiming old loans. Shame
09:56 July 15, 2011 by occassional
Did any of the recipient countries ever purchase anything from Bofors ??? Just wondering.
12:29 July 15, 2011 by jacquelinee
Glad they are paying off old debt... I'll let them know about my Visa´credit card debt. hahahahahahah
15:38 July 15, 2011 by Larry Thrash
Helping poor countries and giving them money are two different things.
16:09 July 15, 2011 by MarshaLynn
This is what your high tax rate is used for. This is why conservatives in America are insisting that the liberals, i.e., Mr. Obama, cut spending. Liberals are such spendaholics that they are going into withdrawal at the very thought of cutting spending. Just a clue: stop sending money to these nations whose governments are known to be corrupt. If you know the money is going down a rathole, why do you send it? It would be better to let it remain in the hands of the Swedish citizens who earned it, rather than sending it to a socialist government that finds so many ways to waste it.
19:06 July 15, 2011 by Freedom4all
Western countries stop giving hand outs using "aid" as a cover to the third world rulers.If you really care about helping third world people hire your own citizen send them to the countries you want to help and make sure the money falls in hand of people that are really needy.If you are in love with the rulers you can go sleep with them if you want.If you hired your own citizens you are created jobs too and it's win win situation for all.
22:30 July 15, 2011 by Englishted
@truthworthy #3

It has been done before (remember live aid etc.) with the result the population increases until the next drought leaves them starving.

Population control is need worldwide as in China to preserve mankind's future .
16:40 July 17, 2011 by zooeden
So f * < % ! ^ what!?????
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