The minister for International Development cooperation, Gunilla Carlsson, said yesterday at the Moderate party’s conference in Gävle that the fixed ‘one percent policy’ for the development aid should be abolished.
Gunilla Carlsson, minister for International Development cooperation (Photo: Pawel Flato)
The United Nation recommends that all developed countries gives at least 0.7 percent of their GDP in aid and development assistance. Sweden has since the 70ies chosen to increase that fraction to one percent. All the three parties in the red/green constellation and Folkpartiet in the liberal / conservative alliance are firmly supporting this objective. That has made it a corner stone of any government’s development aid policy.
The advocates has said that sweden can afford to give that amount and that the needs are so enormous that there must be possible to find suitable projects. The opponents have claimed it is wrong to focus on the quantity instead of quality.
Carlsson now says that she wants to abandon this policy. SIDA (Swedish international Development Aid) has had problems spending the money in an optimal way. Especially sine the high GDP growth during the last years has increased the amount of money spent on development aid.
Recently a study showed that many development projects led to no measurable results. SIDA has also complained about that their obligations to spend a certain amount of money can lead to less control on how the money is spent and how much good they do.
The ‘one percent policy’ is however still popular among many politicians and even if Carlsson can get her party to accept a change, it is in no way certain that the other parties in the government coalition will accept it.