Much of the development effort in Afghanistan is channelled through the
Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), a government agency
conducting its effort bilaterally through local partners.
SIDA has been present in Afghanistan for over 20 years, and therefore has substantial experience and local knowledge. The effort encompasses sectors like health, education, human rights, democratic governance, research, humanitarian assistance, infrastructure, environment and several other sectors.
In 2007, the total annual contribution from SIDA was close to SEK 4 million. In 2006, the Swedish government pledged between SEK 9 million and SEK 1.2 billion for the timeframe of 2006-2008. This is the same amount of money spent in a three year period from 2002-2005, there has in other words been an increase of funding.
SIDA cooperates with the Swedish Afghanistan Committee, UNICEF and the Bangladesh Rural Committee in order to realize educational goals, and relies on the World Bank to channel its reconstruction aid through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF). The Swedish contribution to the ARTF is about 3, 5 % of the total contribution.
Afghanistan's public institutions are not strong enough to offer citizens protection and basic services. SIDA is therefore helping to strengthen the government apparatus by supporting the World Bank projects and the ARTF, which provides funds for the running costs of government administration and the development programmes that the Afghan government wishes to prioritise. In order for Afghanistan to become a stable and peaceful country, it must boost its’ economy. A good network of roads is vital for economic development and trade. The renovation of the road network is also a priority concern for the Afghan government, and for several years SIDA has supported the improvement of roads and bridges in Afghanistan. SIDA has also financed a strategy for the entire transport sector.
In 2007, Sweden received a directive from the Swedish government that included the demand of 15 to 20 per cent of its development cooperation with the country being concentrated in the north. This is in direct accordance with the Nordic practise of channelling funds to where their countries’ PRT contributions are located.