Most Swedish Official Development Assistance (ODA) goes to developing countries in Africa and the Middle East. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) determines the Official Development Assistance budget. The Swedish government works with the SIDA in the allocation of the ODA budget. All of the ODA aids are subject to internal audit system by the Secretariat for Evaluation. The largest portions of this assistance normally goes to Tanzania, Afghanistan, and Mozambique. The focus of the Swedish aid is to help developing countries in Africa, the Baltic, and the Middle East. Aid is usually channeled through governmental, public, and multilateral agencies.
Safeguarding the Integrity of Swedish Foreign Aid (ODA)
The Swedish government requires the SIDA to put forward a yearly financial statement accounting for its Official Development Assistance budgets. This is also in line with its anti-corruption code of conduct. Afghanistan received a total of $137,070,000 USD in Swedish foreign aid putting it on top of the list. Afghanistan counts as 42nd most populous country, is in civil strife with a U.S. presence and Taliban insurgents in the countryside. Standard of living in some areas is primitive due to decades of war. Mozambique received about $119,170,000 USD from Sweden as Official Development Assistance. As one of the poorest countries due to its primitive agricultural economy, Mozambique maintains good relations with all its neighbors including the EU and Asian countries. Its economy is slow but it has recently been developing its natural resources in oil and chemical manufacturing. Somalia also receives Swedish assistance to the tune of $82,830,000 USD. Its economy seems forever in decline and is on the list of Failed States Index (FSI) due to decades of war and civil strife. Kenya also received a total of $72,420,000 USD in Swedish assistance and could be the impetus of its recent economic improvement. Tourism also plays a big part in the country. Palestine, a state in the Middle East also gets assistance from Sweden in the amount of $67,160,000 USD. Palestine is an Arab state that does not fully occupy its own territories. Its perennial conflict with Israel seems to be the root of its economic decline. The Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), received $61,490,000 as Swedish Official Development Assistance, and is one of the African countries that seems to be always at war with itself. Although its mineral resources makes it one of the largest in Africa. The country has major environmental issues. South Sudan also received assistance of $56,180,000 from Sweden. It has oil reserves that it jointly operates with Sudan from which it gained independence in 2011. Tanzania is another African country that gets assistance from Sweden to the tune of $54,070,000. Its name is a combination of two territories that merged in 1964, Tanganyika and Zanzibar to form the Republic of Tanzania. The Swedish government also grants assistance to Zambia and the country received $51,780,000 as official development assistance. Its economy suffered a decline as copper prices dived in the 1970s but, at the start of 2000, its economic prospects were on the upturn due to good copper prices. Bangladesh, eighth most populous country in the world, also received the amount of $49,100,000 as Official Development Assistance from the Sweden. It gained independence from Pakistan in 1971.
Relevance of Official Development Assistance (ODA)
There are official development assistance and “no tied aid” official development assistance. A number of economists hold negative views about the latter claiming that it is nothing but a handout and could be a hindrance in promoting self-sufficiency for countries receiving and depending on this assistance from developed countries. On the other hand, “tied aid” official development assistance is being scrutinized for its negative influence on developing countries. The US-based Center for Global Development (CGD) publishes a yearly report, titled, The Commitment to Development Index (CDI) which regulates country donors on these issues.