Vika med sina kompisar i tonårsklubben för tjejer.

Sida supports the Belarusian organization Healthy Choice to help teens prepare for life outside the orphanages where they grew up.

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Our work in Belarus

Published: 17 June 2009 Updated: 4 August 2015

Democracy, human rights, gender equality, environment and market development are areas where Sweden has a special comparative advantage in relations with Belarus. It constitutes the core of Sweden's strategy for development cooperation with Belarus for the period 2011-2014.

The Swedish strategy is focused on supporting players within the Belarusian society that are inclined to changes.

There are specific requirements that the support should be clearly linked to the reform readiness of the Belarusian actors. It is also required that cooperation with authorities should preferably be done at local and regional level and with the purpose of improving the conditions for continued reforms in the entire society.

The cooperation prioritises non-governmental organisations, democratically-minded political organisations and journalists. Representatives of private trade and industry form another important target group.

Journalists trained in Kalmar

Even though there is limited scope for free media, we are contributing towards improving journalist training at the Belarus state university. The project also aims to improve the organisation of independent journalists as the Belarusian independent journalist association is a co-operative partner in this project. The Swedish partner is the FOJO Media Institute, in Kalmar.

Reducing bureaucracy in local politics

The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, SKL  International, which is the development assistance body for Swedish municipalities and county councils, has contributed efforts to increase Belarusian citizens’ participation in municipal politics and issues. One of the targets of the project has been to reduce bureaucracy.

Better service - especially for small businesses

The regional Minsk-based office of the International Finance Corporation (IFC)  receives support from Sida. One aim of the project is to strengthen private trade and industry in its dialogue with the government about economic reforms. Another one is to improve the service that the seven private industry organisations offer their members, particularly smaller companies. Initially, The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Southern Sweden, based in Malmo, participated in the project, though this part has now come to an end.

Collaboration with EU and UN

Sweden is one of the largest bilateral donors and sets aside SEK 120 million per year to Belarus. However, we realize that it is hard for a country acting alone to bring about change. It is therefore important to co-ordinate our development assistance with other donors. Special co-ordination is being made with EU, which is a large donor to Belarus. 

Page owner: Department for Europe and Latin America

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