Swedish ambassadors slam aid cut plans
Three Swedish ambassadors in Latin America have sharply criticized the Swedish government’s plans to cut all development aid to Bolivia, Colombia, and Guatemala, reports Swedish Radio News.
Gunilla Carlsson, the minister for international development cooperation, says the cuts make sense.
She says countries in Latin America are not at as poor as those Sweden focuses on in Africa, adding that the government does not have endless resources.
"There are huge resources in Latin America that should benefit the continent’s own people", she says.
However in recent reports to the Foreign Ministry in Stockholm, the ambassadors argued that ending aid would have major consequences in the three countries.
A phase-out of aid to Bolivia, according to the Swedish embassy in La Paz, would create a serious void in sectors where the Bolivian state lacks competence, such as children’s rights, sexual and reproductive rights and gender equality.
Considering the current political situation in Guatemala, now would be the "worst possible time to phase out aid”, says the report from the embassy there. Ambassador Michael Früling tells Swedish Radio it would have "dire consequences" for Sweden’s support in building a democratic governance system in Guatemala.
In Colombia, Swedish support in peace talks between the government and the Farc guerilla are of a decisive importance, the embassy says, and pulling aid would mean the loss of a highly appreciated donor and partner.