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Multilateral organisations

Sida collaborates with several multilateral organisations. A large part of the support goes to various UN agencies and the World Bank, and a smaller part goes to the EU's joint assistance. The cooperation is governed by strategies from the Swedish government. 

Positive development for people living in poverty

Just under half of Sida's total support goes through multilateral organizations. One third of the budget is channeled through UN agencies. Sida contributes to a positive development for people living in poverty through the multilateral cooperation. Sweden's priority thematic areas are: democracy, human rights, environment and climate, as well as gender equality and the role of women in development. 

The multilateral co-operation also makes it possible for Sweden to contribute to development in countries without bilateral co-operation. 

Sida's cooperation with multilateral organizations is governed by: 

  • Instruction from the government and the annual regulation letter 
  • Different performance strategies in geographical and thematic areas decided by the government 
  • The Government's strategy for multilateral development policy 

Sida's cooperation with the UN

Sida's extensive cooperation with the UN is characterized by the UN agencies' unique opportunity to contribute to global policy development and at the same time support countries to realize their international commitments (for example, the Paris Agreement and the HR conventions) and national development goals. 

Many of the UN agencies work in areas that are prioritized in Swedish development cooperation and are there for natural partners of Sida in the implementation of development assistance. 

UN - an important player in dealing with conflict and building peace 

A large part of Sida's development cooperation is conducted in countries affected by conflict and instability. The UN has extensive experience in conflict management and peacebuilding. In countries with fragile peace and weak public institutions, UN agencies are often a desired partner of the recipient country and for donors such as Sida. 

Works long-term and strategically for development 

Sida's support for the UN is usually mediated through multi-year agreements linked to various programs. This enables UN agencies to plan long-term and strategically and contributes to their ability to act quickly in times of crisis and adapt as the world around them changes. 

Decisions on financial contributions and the choice of implementing organization are prepared by Sida, at the unit in Sweden or at the embassy responsible for implementing the strategy on which the decision is based. 

Sida is pushing to make the UN more open and efficient

The process of developing and strengthening the UN is ongoing and Sweden is playing an active role. It is about helping to make development systems more open, efficient and responsible. 

UNDP and Unicef ​​are major recipients of Swedish development assistance 

Sida's largest recipients within the UN are: UNDP, Unicef, UNFPA, UNOCHA, WFP, UN Women, FAO and UNHCR. 

The UN Development Program UNDP is the largest recipient. Unicef ​​is also an important partner for Sida in development cooperation, to strengthen the rights of children and young people and in humanitarian aid. 

The sectors that receive the most multi-bilateral support through the UN are: 

  • humanitarian aid 
  • democracy and human rights 
  • health and sexual and reproductive health and rights 

Sida's cooperation with the World Bank Group

As one of 189 countries, Sweden is a member and partner in the World Bank Group (VBG). The World Bank is an important partner for Swedish development assistance as they have a unique capacity to carry out large-scale global and bilateral initiatives. By combining financing, knowledge and experience with a long-term commitment in the partner countries, the World Bank has great potential to influence the development agenda both globally and in specific countries. 

Sida is responsible for extensive cooperation with the World Bank through support for thematic and geographical funds, for example in infrastructure, financial management, water, the environment and gender equality. Sida is also tasked with contributing expertise to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the World Bank Group.

Sweden contributes to meeting the World Bank Group's goals: 

  • to eradicate extreme poverty 
  • promote shared prosperity 

Sida's cooperation with the EU

Sweden contributes to the EU's joint assistance. The EU has operations in around 150 of the world's 195 countries. When many countries provide aid together, the aid can have a greater impact and give better results. 

The EU and EU member states together account for more than half of the world's aid. Sweden supports EU development cooperation and humanitarian aid both through an annual fee and through separate contributions to the European Development Fund (EDF). 

The aim of EU aid is to create coherence between trade, aid and security, and to support development that is economically and socially sustainable. Coordination takes place between the EU and the member states, for example through joint EU Joint Programming strategies. 

The ambition is for the EU and the Member States to work closer together to increase the effectiveness and visibility of European aid. Sweden supports this approach. 

The basis for EU assistance is: 

  • The European Consensus on Development framework 
  • The policy document An Agenda for Change 
  • Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) platform 

A new proposal has been developed for a new instrument for EU development cooperation for the period 2021 - 2027, joint programs have been stated as the desired approach.


Sida supports the OECD and DAC through programme funding and by providing expert advice in various working groups and networks.

Updated: October 21, 2021