The largest positive changes since last year are that Angola and Sudan are now involved in peace processes, which means that assistance will now focus on reconstruction, internal refugees and re-integration. Besides armed conflict, HIV/Aids represents the single biggest threat. The disease is claiming more and more victims in southern Africa and its devastating consequences are becoming increasingly evident.
"We can now see for the first time how HIV/Aids aggravates a drought and starvation crisis. The epidemic paralyses societies, weakens people and inhibits development in southern Africa. In some regions, large parts of the population of working age have been completely wiped out. As a consequence, the UN is now initiating a programme to replace people in African public administrations who have either died or fallen ill," says Johan Schaar, Head of the Humanitarian Assistance Department at Sida.
Sida's assistance has been divided up as follows (in EUR million): Angola 8.7, Uganda 3.7, Palestine 3.5, Sudan 3.27, North Korea 2.72, Democratic Republic of Congo 2.51, Sierra Leone 2.18, Somalia 1.9, Burundi 1.8, Ivory Coast 1.64, Indonesia 1.2, Northern Caucasus 1.1, Eritrea 1.1, Liberia 1.1, The Republic of Congo 0.98, Tadzjikistan 0.5 and the African Great Lakes Region 0.22. Preliminary decisions have been taken regarding Ethiopia, Afghanistan and southern Africa to the tune of about EUR 10.9 million.
"Sweden is prioritising not only long-term aid measures for water, sanitation, health and education but also focusing on the coordination of different measures. Sida does not give money directly for food measures in the first instance," Johan Schaar adds.
About 10 per cent of Sida's budget of EUR 1.23 billion goes to emergency humanitarian assistance. Some of this is distributed via different UN programmes but a large proportion also goes through private organisations and popular movements.
For more information, contact the Sida Press Office on +46 8 698 5555