09/07/2009-Sweden spent USD 4.73 billion on overseas development assistance (ODA) in 2008. This amounted to 0.98% of its gross national income (GNI), making Sweden the most generous DAC donor countries as a proportion of its economy. This is particularly laudable in a time of global recession.
Holding the 2009 EU presidency gives Sweden the opportunity to shore up international support for development co-operation, including taking the lead on the follow-up to the report of the Commission on Climate Change and Development.
The effectiveness of Sweden’s aid and its good humanitarian donorship set high standards. Reforms aimed at bolstering the quality of its aid, including better supporting partner country priorities, set a good example to other donors. Partnerships with civil society organisations - in Sweden and in low-income countries - are robust and key to its development co-operation.
As it reduces the number of countries in which it works, Swedish aid should focus on reducing poverty. A reliable and engaged donor to multilateral organisations, Sweden could now make its support more strategic.
Though Sweden, more than most donors, has national policies and actions consistent with its development objectives, this been difficult to implement in practice. Over the past year the government has been working to address this but there is still need for independent scrutiny to monitor and evaluate cross-government coherence on international development.
The Development Assistance Committee, which groups major aid donors that are members of the OECD, issued its Main Findings and Recommendations on Sweden and as part of a series of examinations of member aid policies and programmes.
The peer review, led by Japan and the United States, took place on 9 June 2009. The Swedish delegation attending the review meeting was headed by Mr Joakim Stymne, State Secretary for International Development Co-operation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
For further information, journalists are invited to contact Helen Fisher at the OECD's Media Division (tel.  1 45 24 80 97).
For more information visit www.oecd.org/dac/peerreviews/sweden