Reduced offsets mean more international development assistance
In the spring amending budget for 2017, it is proposed that SEK 1.3 billion be restored to the development assistance budget as a result of reduced offsets for asylum costs. The money will be used to meet the growing humanitarian needs following the drought in sub-Saharan Africa, and to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and international climate efforts. This is part of an agreement between the Government and the Left Party.
“Aid is needed more than ever as the world is currently facing several difficult challenges simultaneously. War, conflicts and drought, which have been exacerbated due to climate change, have caused the worst famine in sub-Saharan Africa in modern times,” says Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate Isabella Lövin.
“Following the US government’s announcement that they are reducing support to sexual and reproductive health and rights and climate efforts, it is important that Sweden remains committed to providing strong support and cooperates with other countries to mobilise more support to this important work,” says Ms Lövin.
The Government’s political priorities in the Budget Bill for 2017 remain firm. In its spring amending budget, the Government wants to draw particular attention to the following areas:
- that worldwide humanitarian needs remain at record level;
- the particularly serious situation in fragile and conflict-affected states;
- a lack of respect for human rights and the decreasing democratic space around the world;
- the need to strengthen everyone’s full enjoyment of their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR); and
- the steadily increasing global need for international environment and climate action, including seas and marine resources.
In the Budget Bill for 2017, the costs of asylum reception within the development assistance framework were estimated at SEK 8.1 billion for 2017, but in the spring amending budget for 2017 these costs are estimated at SEK 6.8 billion. The reason for this is that the number of asylum seekers has decreased from 51 200 people in the Swedish Migration Agency’s July 2016 forecast to 34 700 people in the February 2017 forecast. The total development assistance framework for 2017 amounts to SEK 46.1 billion.