At a time when donors are struggling to meet their aid commitments, Sweden is planning to increase its international assistance budget for 2013.
The country aims to spend 38.2 billion Swedish kronor ($5.8 billion) for foreign aid next year, up from some 35.8 billion Swedish kronor in 2012. The bulk — 31.2 billion Swedish kronor — will be for international development cooperation and reform cooperation in Eastern Europe. Part of the money for the latter will be used for democracy efforts and sustainable development, according to a news release.
Sweden is also allocating some 5 billion Swedish kronor for humanitarian operations: 2.8 billion Swedish kronor for emergencies and more than 2 billion Swedish kronor for “renowned” humanitarian organizations, including UNICEF, Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the U.N. World Food Program and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Further breakdown of the proposed budget is as follows:
400 million Swedish kronor for water and sanitation.
90 million Swedish kronor for pro-democracy efforts and human rights.
100 million Swedish kronor for democratization processes in MENA countries.
500 million Swedish kronor for climate adaptation initiatives, such as investments in ecosystems and sustainable agriculture.
A total of 100 million Swedish kronor for education opportunities in Sweden.
In 1974, Sweden became the first country the meet the U.N. official development assistance target of 0.7 percent of gross national income. Last year, the country’s aid budget represented 1.02 percent of GNI.
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