In recent months, Sida and Swedish development assistance have received harsh criticism on Swedish opinion pages.

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Criticism of aid continues on Swedish opinion pages

The debate about corruption and poor control of Swedish development assistance continues in Swedish newspapers. Svenska dagbladet's guest writer demands an aid preparation and the Sweden Democrats demand clearer demands for aid recipients. At the same time, other debaters are expressing concern about increased opposition to sexual rights in many countries around the world.

Svenska Dagbladet's guest writer Janerik Larsson thinks that Sweden provides aid without sufficient control and compares it with the Armed Forces' budget where it "should be kneaded and consulted right down to every little Archer screw". He cites examples of scandals within organizations that receive aid - with unreasonably high wages, luxury lives, sexual harassment, bullying and abuse of power.

“It is high time for a political overview and clarification of the development aid's objectives, purpose, effect and consequences. In other words: an aid preparation ", writes Janerik Larsson.

Sweden Democrat Ludvig Aspling presents similar criticism in a debate article in Svenska Dagbladet. "Sida needs clearer guidelines on requirements for the organizations with which the authority cooperates," he writes.

Aspling argues that Sida's work against corruption and unfair compensation is still very deficient, despite the fact that the development assistance authority has stopped payments to the organizations where it has arisen that the upper classes have used the funds for unreasonable salaries and benefits.

In response to what Aspling writes, Johanna Wallmo Wahlgren, chief controller at Sida, replies that the authority takes the work against corruption very seriously. Sida's job is to help people living in poverty, in countries where corruption is often at its greatest. "That money that should go to the very poorest and most vulnerable people in the world does not reach is obviously unacceptable," she writes.

In the collaborations that have been stopped, it is Sida itself that has discovered unreasonable salary increases through control and auditing, writes Johanna Wallmo Wahlgren. However, Sida welcomes the debate both because it is important and because the public should gain knowledge about how Swedish development assistance work is conducted and functions.

Five Nordic aid ministers - for Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden - write in Svenska Dagbladet ahead of an upcoming UN meeting in Nairobi. At the meeting, ministers, civil servants, representatives of civil society and others will gather to discuss each person's right to make their own decision about when or whether to start a family.

The debaters describe their concern about the strong opposition that exists in many countries to the right to make informed decisions about their own bodies. There are strong forces fighting sex and cohabitation education, equal rights for LGBTQ people and the right to safe and legal abortions. That is why the Nordic ministers write that they will "strongly support, both politically and financially, sexual and reproductive health and rights for all."

On the same theme, 17 women, whose lives have been drastically affected in various ways by violence and violations during the military dictatorship in Chile, write in Dagens ETC. During the protests that are now taking place in Chile, testimonies say that the military and the police, protected by state of emergency, expose women to sexualized violence. Women are the ones who are particularly vulnerable when the Chilean state now tries to stop the ongoing demonstrations, the debaters write. They demand that "the Swedish government, which claims to pursue a feminist foreign policy, demands that the Chilean government put an end to state violence, not least sexual violence".

 

A selection of the last week's editorial and debate articles about Sweden's role in the world:

Sweden's aid

"The silence on aid policy"
Janerik Larsson, Svenska Dagbladet

"We act directly in the event of irregularities"
Johanna Wallmo Wahlgren, Svenska Dagbladet

"Sida must make clearer demands"
Ludvig Aspling, Svenska Dagbladet

Women's rights

"We take the fight for women's rights"
Peter Eriksson et al., Svenska Dagbladet

"Stop sexualized violence against protesters in Chile"
Carmen Blanco Valer et al., Dagens ETC

Iraq

"Democratic protests in Iraq need international support"
Jamila Hussein, Gothenburg Post

Yemen

"Children die in Yemen due to Swedish weapons"
Amnesty Sweden's Youth Council, DagensETC

The climate

"Immoral to take on the pros but not the cons"
Christian Ekberg, Svt Opinion

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