An overwhelming majority of the world's poor live in rural areas and subsist on agriculture. Despite this, today only a small part of international aid goes to agricultural development and food production. The Green Party wants to change this, among other things by raising Swedish development assistance to 1,25 percent of GNI. Photo: Binoy Anthony / Green Party. Source: Pexels / Flickr.


Green Party: Do not reduce aid when needs increase!

International aid is under threat. Despite the fact that we live in a time where development assistance is more important than ever, several parties in the Riksdag want to reduce it in various ways. Instead, the Green Party wants to both increase international aid to at least 1% of GNI and stand up for a humane refugee reception. It writes Maria Ferm, foreign policy spokesperson within the Green Party. 

We are now living in an increasingly dangerous time. Russia's invasion of Ukraine makes that the security situation has deteriorated dramatically in our immediate area. The European the security order is in question. A democracy in Europe has been invaded by an authoritarian state seeking to deprive the country of its right to liberty and self-determination.

This will affect us for a very long time and unfortunately also see the war out to risk continuing indefinitely. We need to continue with clear sanctions against Russia, support Ukraine and be prepared to defend central values ​​that are the foundation of our liberal, democratic states.

The war in Ukraine also has other major consequences in an unstable and vulnerable world. We see how fuel prices and food prices are rising. Already visible protests in countries like Yemen and Sudan when people are on the border of famine now suffers from higher food prices. Russia and Ukraine are the world's largest wheat exporters and we risk a global famine that in addition, it risks affecting countries that are already hard hit by conflicts, poverty and climate change. We are only at the beginning of investigating the side effects of the serious situation and are beginning to see the consequences globally.

In this situation, there are several threats to international development aid. Several Parties in the Swedish Parliament want to reduce aid if they come to power. The Social Democratic government have announced that they intend to reduce aid by using up to a third of it for refugee reception in Sweden. They simply intend to reduce aid backwards by redistributing money that will go to the world's most vulnerable to the Swedish state's costs of receiving refugees. The Green Party is deeply critical of this. At a time when aid is more important than in a long time, when needs increase and when the world is facing a global famine that in turn can generate political chaos and even more wars and conflicts, it is the wrong way to go. We need to minimize the settlements at the same time as we stand up to help refugees in Sweden in solidarity.

Sweden's development assistance must amount to at least one percent of gross national income (GNI). In the autumn of 2021, when the Green Party was in government, we presented the largest the aid budget ever, with major investments in poverty reduction, human rights and sexual and reproductive health (SRHR), conflict prevention efforts as well as climate and environment. It also has important initiatives taken to strengthen the work of preventing wars and conflicts as part of the entire development cooperation. Now many investments risk going nowhere.

In an increasingly brutal world marked by conflicts, climate change and there democracy is increasingly being curtailed and threatened, more global solidarity is required, no less. The Green Party therefore proposes an increase in development assistance to 1,25 percent of BNI. We need a safer world and we need help. In addition, we say no to the government's settlements. We think that settlements from development assistance should minimized and meanwhile in the government the Social Democrats to limit this, something that seems completely blown away now.

Sweden will continue to pursue a feminist foreign policy that focuses on women's rights, political participation, economic autonomy, influence in peace work, freedom from violence and the right to reproductive health. Respect for women's and girls' rights and opportunities need to increase. More women will be involved and make the important decisions.

Peaceful and inclusive societies are one of the global goals of Agenda 2030. A lasting peace requires a peace agreement that respects human rights and which gives people hope for the future. Sweden has played an important role in international peace work and will continue to participate actively and push for, not at least Sweden must stand up especially for issues concerning women and minorities in peace work. Humanitarian aid should therefore focus primarily on people, especially women and children, the opportunity and right to education and work and to protect the participation of civil society in society. Sweden is today the world's largest donor to the Covax vaccine collaboration in terms of population. We want to continue to cooperate internationally so that vaccines are available to everyone and work for more countries to increase their contribution. The Corona Pandemic has shown the importance of expanding international humanitarian aid to people in need in order to strengthen the capacity to provide rapid response in similar crisis situations in the future as well.

Sweden has, and will continue to take, a leading role in solving the global the climate crisis. We do this by living up to our own climate promises and reaching out zero emissions by 2035, but also by helping other countries cope climate change. Sweden must help countries to protect sensitive areas against the exploitation of oil and fossil gas, and work for a global ban on subsidies for fossil fuels.

An overwhelming majority of the world's poor live in rural areas and subsist themselves on agriculture. Despite this, today only a small part of the international goes aid for agricultural development and food production. At the same time as the world now potentially facing the worst hunger crisis in 50 years is only 0,03 percent of Swedish aid for food production. Sweden should double aid to farmers and agriculture, and especially small-scale ones, to at least 5 percent of the total development assistance budget and work within the EU and the UN to other donors follow Sweden's example. Sweden's aid should promote the possibilities for especially small farmers to direct and democratic control over local resources and thus the right to produce their own food locally in instead of relying on food produced by international companies. To eradicate hunger requires that we focus primarily on listening to the needs of those who are hungry and providing them with the resources they need to secure their own food supply.

This presupposes that people are not deprived of access to land and clean water or the right to preserve, save and plant crops on which it was based smallholder food supply for generations.

Sweden's aid must be sustainable, strengthen democracy and equip societies to reduce poverty and vulnerability, meet the climate challenge, combat corruption, and push for peace and stability in the world in line with the global ones the sustainability goals in Agenda 2030. Sweden must adhere to at least the XNUMX% target for Swedish development assistance and development assistance should also increase in this very serious situation. We must not repeat the mistake of making large settlements on development assistance in order to finance refugee reception. Government settlements against development assistance needs to be minimized.

The Riksdag parties' view of Swedish development cooperation

Utvecklingsmagasinet has contacted all eight parliamentary parties and offered them to write debate articles about their views on Swedish development cooperation - how they view the one percent goal and how they want development cooperation to look in the future. The articles and any replicas will be published on an ongoing basis 

This is a debate article. The author is responsible for analysis and opinions in the text.

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