The Swedish Government has decided to increase development cooperation with Ethiopia with approximately USD 20 million over the next two years, Swedish embassy in Addis Abeba said in a statement.
"The new funds aim to support the ongoing reform process in the country and to strengthen Sweden's opportunities to support government institutions as well as civil society organizations that work [in areas of] democracy and human rights," the statement said.
Examples of areas where the new funds can be used include election support, legal sector support, interventions to strengthen the national peace architecture as well as capacity building to human rights organizations. The decision also opens-up for more direct Swedish development support to the Government of Ethiopia again, both on national, regional and local level.
"The development in Ethiopia has, over the past year, been very positive, although the challenges remain substantial. With this decision, we want to contribute to strengthening and deepening democratic development in Ethiopia and contribute to peace and reconciliation," Peter Eriksson, Minister for International Development Cooperation, said, adding supporting reforms that increase the democratic space and strengthen human rights in Ethiopia is essential, and especially when the democratic development in other parts of the world goes in the opposite direction.
Sweden's strategy for development cooperation with Ethiopia has three main focus areas: a better environment, limited climate impact and greater resilience to environmental impact, climate change and natural disasters, democracy, human rights and gender equality, as well as better opportunities and tools to enable poor people to improve their living conditions.
With the revision, the strategy comprises a total of USD 120 million for the period 2016-2020. Sweden also provides humanitarian support (USD 14 million); research support (approximately USD 5 million); and special support to resilience (USD 10 million) in 2019 to Ethiopia - as well as support through the European Union and through global core and project funding to many of the multilateral institutions such as the United Nations programs and funds.