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Sweden world's most generous donor: OECD

TT/The Local/po · 7 Apr 2012, 11:26

Published: 07 Apr 2012 11:26 GMT+02:00

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In 2011, Sweden paid out some 36 billion kronor ($5.33 billion) in overseas development assistance (ODA). This corresponded to 1.02 percent of gross national income (GNI).

According to statistics compiled by the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC), this put Sweden at the top of the list of the world's largest aid donors when viewed as a proportion of GNI.

Scandinavian neighbour Norway followed close behind, contributing 1 percent of GNI, while Luxembourg was third with 0.99 percent.

”We’re keeping our aid promises at a time when a lot of other countries are breaking theirs,” development aid minister Gunilla Carlsson (Moderate Party) told news agency TT.

In terms of sheer volume, the United States and Germany were the biggest givers, but the GNI statistics showed the two economic powerhouses contributing a comparatively meagre 0.2 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.

Overall global aid volumes dipped in 2011, however, as countries continued to grapple with a long-running economic crisis.

"Sweden coped well with the economic downturn and, unlike many other countries, was able to maintain a high level of aid to poor countries," said Carlsson.

A rise in GNI in 2011 meant Sweden’s aid contribution increased by 10.5 percent in monetary terms.

The government has previously faced criticism for the the measures it uses to calculate development aid, such as the inclusion of debt relief to poor countries.

Minister Carlsson said she expected that criticism to persist, but explained that the government had opted to go by the rules laid out by the DAC when calculating its contribution.

This in turn allowed the DAC to include Sweden in its comparative ranking, said Carlsson.

Story continues below…

”And now the DAC thinks we’re the best in the world,” she said.

But while Carlsson confessed to being very pleased with the result, she underlined that there still remained much room for improvement.

”We’re not going to change the poverty situation in the world if we don’t work with companies. The major shift in the way of looking at development aid is the realization that we must work more with the business world. On that point, we are also in agreement with the aid organizations,” she said.

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

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Your comments about this article

14:09 April 7, 2012 by Rishonim
I think those numbers are old (2009)
15:09 April 7, 2012 by Abe L
Yes great, send our tax money overseas instead of investing it in the people who pay for it. Development money should come from private donations and charities, NOT from governments spending YOUR money.

There are lots of problems at hand that need attention in Sweden, that's where tax money should go.
15:23 April 7, 2012 by Horace
@ Abe L

However bad the problems are in Sweden or any developed country, life is still way worse in developing and undeveloped countries. I support what Sweden has done.
15:41 April 7, 2012 by philster61
True humanist you are Abe L. You probably would complain that starving people are earning too much money while your second car needs a service
15:52 April 7, 2012 by jostein
Yes, the arrogant mediopolitical class in sweden loves giving away the hardearned cash of the citizens whose interestest they are NOT looking after, all the while filling their own coffers. Despicable vile treacherous creatuers.
16:14 April 7, 2012 by libertarianism
I rate this article "P" for propaganda.
16:25 April 7, 2012 by Larry Thrash
If the individual is not involved it's a farce. Most of the money winds up in the hands of a few and the poor are never helped. It's more about feeling good than really helping people.
18:21 April 7, 2012 by irridium
The majority of the money will not trickle down to those in poverty. There have been numerous cases of donated 'development' money used to purchase arms instead of food and medicine.

It would make much more sense if SIDA and Swedish NGOs were given the funds. We could at least be more sure that the money is directed at those who need it most instead of lining the pockets of bureaucrats.
19:03 April 7, 2012 by gpafledthis
could be abba type song "can buy me love"
22:24 April 7, 2012 by johan rebel
This means Sweden also holds the world record for stuffing the pockets of assorted criminal and corrupt officials, bureacrats, politicians and their extended third world families.

Way to go, Sweden!
22:45 April 7, 2012 by storstark
makes me feel better about all my tax kronor subsidising the weapons trade and displacing people in the first place... a bleeding heart doesn't detract from the blood on your hands, sweden!
01:08 April 8, 2012 by ctinej
It makes me proud to read this, as far as intentions go. but the truth of the matter may well be what others have said. Greedy bureaucrats take all the money.

A much better policy would be to ask what is needed, and then supply it, in the form of Swedish labor and money to get the job done. This would help with some unemployment too. At least have the management of the funds should go with the money.
04:17 April 8, 2012 by phil23456
Send the money to Malmo, that's still foreign aid!
08:53 April 8, 2012 by jostein

We already do, 25 % of Malmös budget is payed for by the rest of us:

11:17 April 8, 2012 by OUIJA
Back in 2006, when Gunilla Carlsson was presented by Carl Bildt during a Press Conference, a foreign correspondent asked her:

"How are you going to control that corrupted governments don't keep on receiving subsidies from Sweden?

With a "mmmm" she answered that the matter would be studied very carefully.

What has happened?

NOTHING. Our money keeps on flowing to countries where the needed people do not receive it, but the officials at their governments keep on feeding their bank accounts.

And Mrs. Carlsson? Well. As my wife clearly pointed out, she is one of the many who is a wireless politician because she is never connected to reality and believes that by smiling she will get away with her iinformation.

Bye bye our money. Bye, bye
15:00 April 8, 2012 by voidplay
Please understand this also includes debts. And most importantly most "foreign aid" is a way to promote slacking industries in the developed world that includes arms sales.

I actually wish countries stop giving foreign "aid" and instead engage themselves in fair trade and sustainable economic policies.

If what Sweden or USA does in reality is not very different from what China does which is termed "Dumping".

If you need an illustrative example please ask.
16:17 April 8, 2012 by Cornelius Hamelberg
"We're not going to change the poverty situation in the world if we don't work with companies. The major shift in the way of looking at development aid is the realization that we must work more with the business world. On that point, we are also in agreement with the aid organizations," she said. "

Companies. Not exactly the Salvation Army or the the Red Cross. The profit motive can be immense !

But payment on completion of the job is one way of ensuring that the job is done.

If accountability can be supervised - and the implementation of projects could also be supervised then that's a lot of good accomplished for the people on the receiving end of the partnership of International Co-operation
21:27 April 8, 2012 by Max Reaver
I wonder how many kronors are paid by Ingvar Kamprad.

This guy should be made notorious for hoarding his cash. Unlike Gates who knows money has no real value unless you spend it, Kamprad is an old relic and idiot who simply loves see his stockpile of cash grow. Every time critics call him on not being generous, he throws out some bills to silence the criticism.

Recently he set up a foundation to support research in his home province, Småland. The question is, is there even valuable researches conducted in that region? There are no top-notch universities or institutes in the province. To me it sounds like a way of saving money. He never would've dared to support research in Stockholm or Uppsala, where expensive high-level biotech research runs at basically every uni.
00:37 April 9, 2012 by ijustice
Well, maybe before some jump into frenzy of back patting and self-glorification, we may first ask, what are the so-called development assistant help being used to develop?

Let us first check the top global arms suppliers and sure we will find Sweden on the top of the chart even though they are 'neutral to wars'!

Now selling weapons of mass destruction to bomb developing economies or countries back to stone age, and later use less than 0.0001% or the excess profit in 'development assistant', of the same place destroyed by their weapon, may not sound like real helping...

I have always respected Sweden for their policy of 'war neutrality' until when secret arms deals and other 'unholy' behind the curtain horse trading on various forms of sophisticated weapons of mass destruction, like the recently exposed arms deal with draconic terrorist regime of Saudi Arabia, or worse still the Swedish direct involvement in NATO genocide in Libya, and shameless support of Al-Qaeda terrorists to take over one of the few stable and prosperous country in Africa. Even, with GDP higher than that of most Western countries...

No what kind of 'developmental assistant' from Sweden or West will make up for their colossal destruction of lives and infrastructures in Libya?

One thing is to be totally 'neutral' from wars and conflicts, another is to claim neutrality, yet 'sell/supply' the weapons in secret to those killing each other!
04:24 April 9, 2012 by randyt
Hey, this sure beats bombing people to make them a democracy! Good for Sweden, shows Americans what a real Christian Nation does ;-))))
11:48 April 9, 2012 by libertarianism
@ 20, Jesus is said to have healed sick people. Swedish politicians purposely underfund healthcare, and thus knowingly and actively choose to leave the sick and elderly to suffer and die... I don't think Jesus is generally thought of as an arms dealer either. :(
12:55 April 9, 2012 by Marc the Texan
I would like to see a breakdown that includes donations from churches, NGOs and private donations.
16:30 April 9, 2012 by gh2008
@Abe L,

"instead of investing it in the people who pay for it."

that is a naive statement! if Sweden doesn't do that you wouldn't have job to pay taxes! in today's international market, countries have to buy their shares and Sweden is doing well in this regard.
16:42 April 11, 2012 by spjutis

LIKE! who need better helthcare. its still better than many other countries hospital and helthcare.

I like how she say "We're keeping our aid promises at a time when a lot of other countries are breaking theirs," development aid minister Gunilla Carlsson (Moderate Party) told news agency TT.

well ask greece why they are not donating as much as the world almighty swedes are? i guess Sweden is perfect, no need for any extra billions to the hospitals around this nation. Thank you Gunilla Carlsson for making me see that
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