Malawi: Malawi with just under a quarter of ICEIDA´s total expenditure

- Annual Report 2008 published



“The Icelandic International Development Agency reflects the nation’s standard of living, as do other Icelandic institutions, businesses and homes. In prosperous times, the prosperity influences the whole environment in a positive way. “The fjord is beautiful when the fishing is good” was often said in Iceland in former times when the amount of fish in the sea had a direct bearing on whether the nation would do well or badly.”

That’s how Sighvatur Björgvinsson, the Director General of ICEIDA puts it in the forewords of ICEIDA´s Annual Report for the year 2008, published last week. Later in the forewords Sighvatur says:

“The year started off well and further increases in budget contributions toward development aid looked likely. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and the government decided to make development cooperation one of three cornerstones of Iceland’s foreign policy. Subsequently, contributions to the sector were increased and it was foreseen that Iceland would, within a few years, be amongst the few nations reaching the UN goal to contribute 0.7% of the gross national income to development cooperation. Operations continued in the spirit of this policy, right until the fateful week in October when the whole financial system collapsed in Iceland. Then everything changed and the environment was completely transformed.”

The Annual Report is published both in Icelandic and English and comprehensively reports ICEIDA´s activities in Iceland’s six partner countries in bilateral development cooperation.

ICEIDA´s contribution to bilateral cooperation was 22.3 million USD in 2008 and increased by 28% compared to 2007.

Malawi is still the main recipient of ICEIDA support with 23% of overall expenditure or 5.1 million USD. Second largest was Mozambique with 16% of the total expenditure or 3.6 million USD. Uganda remains in third place with 14% of ICEIDA´s budget. The expenditure in Nicaragua nearly doubled between years and amounted to 10% of the expenditure in 2008.

Between 2007 and 2008 there were no significant changes in the division of expenditure by sectors. Just over half of the total expenditure went towards education and fisheries, thereof education 28% and fisheries 24%.

Icelandic ICEIDA personnel abroad decreased substantially last year, from 28 in 2007 to 18 in 2008, while similarly locally recruited staff increased between years.