This year, the Swedish Development Aid Agency (Sida) distributed 4,225 million humanitarian aid linked to various crises, and this is more than ever before.
It’s a very dangerous development we’re seeing, says Jacob Wernermann, head of the humanitarian aid division in Side.
The Coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the situation in many poor communities, and made it more difficult to obtain funds from the richer part of the world.
The economies of all countries have been hit hard by the epidemic and we see uncertainty in many countries about how to maintain their solidarity with the outside world. Countries like the United Kingdom, for example, are cutting aid. But in Sweden, we are defending our goal by one percent, says Swedish Minister for Development Aid Per Olsson Friede (Member of Parliament).
It is not appropriate for Sweden to reduce
At the end of 2020, the UK cut its previous target for development aid from 0.7 per cent of gross national income to 0.5 per cent. This is in line with the trend in the European Union. According to Concord, which includes the aid organization umbrella organization, EU member states spend a smaller share of their income on aid.
For Sweden, it is not appropriate to cut aid, despite the crisis, according to Per Olson Friede:
If we want to fight the pandemic, if we want to be able to combat climate change, and if we want to make the world safer, then we must also defend that kind of solidarity, he says.
The five biggest crises presented by the Swedish Aid Agency for this year are the Syrian crisis, the war in Yemen and South Sudan, the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the situation of refugees and other vulnerable groups in Ethiopia.
Several reasons behind the need
The Coronavirus pandemic has made the humanitarian situation more dangerous in those parts of the world that are already most vulnerable. But the growing need for humanitarian aid has several reasons.
There are several serious factors that contribute to development. On the one hand, we have more and more complex and protracted armed conflicts in many parts of the world. Climate change affects the intensity and frequency of natural disasters. In parts of the world, says Jacob Wernerman, social and economic development is worsening.