Vietnam and Indonesia Will Be Deprived of Swedish Aid

The Swedish centre-right government that took office a year ago said on August 27, 2007 that it aimed to reduce the number of countries including Vietnam and Indonesia that receive Swedish aid to emphasize fighting poverty in Africa and promoting democracy in eastern Europe.
International Development Cooperation Minister Gunilla Carlsson cited ‘better efficiency’ as one of the arguments for reducing the number of bilateral aid recipients from the current 70 to 33 within the next four years.
About a third of Sweden‘s annual aid budget, worth some 30 billion kronor (4.3 billion dollars), is set aside for bilateral aid. Along with its Nordic neighbours Norway and Denmark, Sweden is one of five countries that has committed more than 0.7 per cent of its gross national income to aid, according to the OECD Development Assistance Committee.
Anders Forsse, former head of the government aid agency SIDA, welcomed the initiative, saying ‘development aid is not just a matter of sending money to poor countries with incomplete administrations and quite extensive corruption.’
Swedish aid agency Sida also welcomed the change, although acting Director-General Goran Holmqvist said the decision would likely be met with “alarm” in some of the affected countries.

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