Sweden pledges €10 million more aid to Rojava: Kurdish official

Sweden has promised an additional over $10 million in humanitarian aid for northeast Syria (Rojava). The pledge came from Sweden’s foreign minister when she met a visiting Kurdish delegation this week. 

Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ann Linde received in Stockholm on Thursday the Rojava delegation including Bedran Chiya Ali, deputy co-chair of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, and Shiyar Ali, the administration’s representative to Sweden.  

“For the next year, the funds dedicated to support northeast Syria will be increased by €10 million [$11.8 million], according to the promise they made this time,” Shiyar Ali told Rudaw late on Friday.

“Sweden has supported us in the past as well – serious support, not fake. Swedish institutions are working on the ground, and we met with these institutions during this visit,” he added.

The money will be given to humanitarian organizations working in Rojava, including the Kurdish Red Crescent, Shiyar Ali explained, adding that since 2016, Sweden has given some $41 million for Rojava. 

He said the new allocation was decided after last month’s NATO summit.

Sweden, a member of the global coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS), has provided a total of $210.8 million to Syria between 2016 and 2020, and it will continue to support aid in Syria through 2023, increasing its total financial commitment to $376 million.

The Swedish government’s stated objectives in Syria include improving the livelihoods of Syrians, combatting gender-based violence, improving human rights, and improving “access to inclusive and equitable basic public services for people in a vulnerable situation in neighbouring countries, including refugees from Syria, as a result of the Syria crisis.” 

After a decade of war, devaluation of the local currency, and a global pandemic, millions of Syrians are dependent on aid for their survival. 

Linde, known for voicing strong support for Syrian Kurds, tweeted that they discussed “the political situation in the region” and efforts to combat ISIS in her meeting with the delegation. 

According to Shiyar Ali, they also discussed the water crisis in Syria, the NATO summit in Rome, and the situation in Afrin, with Linde telling the delegation that Sweden renewed calls for Turkey to withdraw its troops from Syria. 

In Ankara in October 2020, Linde told her Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu that Turkey must withdraw from Rojava. Her comments angered the Turkish minister but were cheered by Kurdish officials in Rojava.  

Linde has also voiced support for the inclusion of Syria’s Kurdish administration in the UN-sponsored constitutional committee aimed at finding a political end to the country’s civil war.

But why should Sweden care about Kurdistan? Does it mean that Sweden will get a worse relationship with Turkey (a NATO member) ? Probably Ann Linde has extra money to spend abroad?


Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.