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New policy framework for Swedish development cooperation and humanitarian aid


In December 2016, the Government adopted a new policy framework outlining the direction of Swedish development cooperation and humanitarian aid. The policy framework has now been translated into English.

The parameters for Swedish development cooperation and humanitarian aid are laid down in the policy framework. The English translation will make it easier for missions abroad and other actors to work with and implement the framework.

The purpose of the policy framework is to have a knowledge-based, broadly supported framework adapted to the new global development agenda that for the first time clearly links international work on poverty reduction to the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental. At the same time, Sweden wants to go beyond the 2030 Agenda in a number of areas, such as gender equality, democracy and human rights.

"We must respond to the major changes taking place in our world, and our work has to be adapted to the new global development agenda. The 2030 Agenda actually offers fantastic opportunities to combat poverty and create sustainable development. Sweden should be at the forefront in this regard and advance international efforts," says Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate Isabella Lövin.

When an increasing proportion of extremely poor people live in conflict-affected and fragile countries, it is important that the focus is placed on long-term efforts for peaceful and inclusive societies. The need for a bridge between long-term development cooperation and humanitarian aid is made clear in the framework. The synergies must be strengthened and the transition made more efficient, while keeping the unique humanitarian mandate firmly in place.

The Government highlights three new perspectives that will permeate development cooperation: the conflict, gender equality and environment and climate perspectives. Poor people's perspective of development and the rights perspective should also continue to be integrated in decision-making and in the planning, implementation and follow-up of activities, together with the three new perspectives.

The partner countries' ownership and a mutual responsibility is crucial to the implementation of development cooperation. To be efficient and able to deliver results, the policy must take its cue from the local context and needs.

The policy framework guides all Swedish development cooperation – bilaterally, regionally, thematically, in multilateral organisations and in European Union development cooperation.

"Together with the partner countries, civil society and companies, and through the EU and multilateral organisations, we will advance poverty reduction and sustainable development. We will contribute to innovative thinking and change, and we will really make a difference for people living in poverty," says Ms Lövin.


Ministry for Foreign Affairs
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