Denmark is deeply sceptical of Mozambican authorities’ capacity to handle aid money channelled through the education sector. An unannounced spot check of Zambezi provincial authorities’ accounts, carried out by Danish Embassy officials earlier this year, first raised the suspicions of widespread irregularities in the management of Danish aid funds.
Sweden has decided to withhold SEK 65 million in budget support to Uganda in light of the negative democratic development in the country. Instead, SEK 25 million of these funds will be used directly for disaster relief in the war-torn northern area of the country.
When the G8 countries launched their debt relief plan at the Gleneagles Summit in Scotland last summer, there had not been much consultation with the rest of the donor community. The G8 countries simply expected the other donors to follow suit and pay their share of the costs.
Norway will send hundreds of soldiers to Sudan as a result of the new government’s decision to increase participation in UN military operations. The choice of Sudan is related to Norway’s long history of aid to the country and the involvement in the peace process, says State Secretary Espen Barth Eide.
Development Today reported in the previous issue that the Finnish Foreign Ministry is taking a second look at a large five-year aid grant awarded to the Joensuu-based European Forest Institute (EFI) starting in 2004.
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has great trust in NGOs and companies involved in humanitarian assistance. No decision memos are produced when awarding grants to actors that have previously received grants. Reports and applications are of varying quality. The Auditor General now criticises this practice for the third time.
2005 will be remembered as the year of precedents in the humanitarian field. The world made its most generous response ever to a humanitarian emergency - the tsunami tragedy. And the UN General Assembly, for the first time, gave OCHA a new emergency fund that will allow it to begin to address the travesty of under-funded crises.
The Swedish public appeared to be suffering from donor fatigue immediately after the Pakistan earthquake struck. This has now changed. The Swedish Red Cross reports that it has managed to collect SEK 42 million from private donors in Sweden.
Norwegian Development Minister Erik Solheim met World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz once again on December 14 in Washington DC. The Norwegian government has stated that it will not support development programmes where liberalisation and privatisation are conditions.