Sweden does most for the world’s poor: study

Sweden has topped the list ranking foreign aid policies among the world's wealthy countries for the third year running, according to an annual study by the US-based Center for Global Development (CDG).

Neighbours Norway, Denmark and Finland came in at 2nd, 3d and 6th respectively in the 2011 Commitment to Development Index (CDI), an annual ranking compiled by the Washington DC-based CGD think tank.

”The high scores of the top four owe above all to their generous aid giving. The high standings of Sweden and Norway also derive from their openness to immigrants from developing countries, including refugees,” said CGD research fellow David Roodman in a statement.

The CDI measures national efforts in seven policy areas that are important to developing countries: aid, trade, investment, migration, environment, security and technology.

”Sweden comes in first on the 2011 CDI on the strength of its high aid quality and quantity, admissions of large numbers of migrants and low and falling greenhouse gas emissions,” the brief reads.

Sweden scored 7.7 overall, slightly ahead of Norway’s 7.0 and Denmark’s 6.9.

Once again Sweden scored highest in aid, migration and environment.

According to the CDG, the Swedish foreign aid program is one of the best in the world in terms of quantity, weighted for country size, as well as its quality.

The researchers also state that Sweden bears a large burden of refugees in humanitarian emergencies, provides little protection to domestic producers of agricultural products, and has the lowest greenhouse gas emission rates per capita of the CDI countries.

Just like last year, Sweden did less well when it came to investment, security, and technology, where Sweden was penalized for high arms exports to poor and undemocratic governments as well as weak support for the creation and development of technological advances.

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