• The Swedish government funds numerous Israeli, Palestinian, and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Embassy in Tel Aviv, and indirectly by outsourcing to Swedish church groups and aid organizations such as Diakonia.
  • In 2021, Sweden provided approximately $20.8 million to NGOs involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Many of these NGOs and church aid organizations are involved in anti-peace activities such as incitement, BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions), and legal attacks (“lawfare”) against Israel. Some of these groups also have reported ties to terrorist organizations.
  • In August 2018, OmVärlden, an online magazine owned by Sida, published 20 articles making numerous false accusations about NGO Monitor. The articles consisted almost entirely of innuendo, factual inaccuracies, and antisemitic motifs reminiscent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (spider web, conspiracy theories).
  • Sida paid $66,490 in 2014-2016 for an evaluation, “Research to better promote human rights in Israel/Palestine.” The evaluation was written by Jessica Montell, a member of the Secretariat’s Reference Group and, at the time former executive director of a Sida-funded NGO (B’Tselem). The Swedish government failed to respond to NGO Monitor’s concerns about conflicts of interest in this evaluation.

Direct Funding

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) Funding to Palestinian NGOs

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) Funding to International NGOs

  • Islamic Relief Sweden
    • In 2017-2021 Islamic Relief Sweden received $1.8 million from Sida.
    • Islamic Relief Sweden also received $3 million in Sida funding indirectly through Forum Syd (see below).
    • Islamic Relief Sweden is part of Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) and was founded by The Islamic Association in Sweden.
    • On June 19, 2014, Israel’s Defense Minister declared IRW to be illegal, based on its alleged role in funneling money to Hamas, and banned it from operating in Israel and the West Bank. Hamas is a designated terror organization by Israel, the USEU, and Canada. According to media reports, the decision was made after “the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the coordinator for government activities in the territories, and legal authorities provided incriminating information against IRW.”
    • In November 2014, the United Arab Emirates banned IRW as a terror organization.
    • In January 2016, HSBC Banking group in the UK severed ties with IRW over terror funding fears.
  • Save the Children
  • Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)
    • In 2021-2022, the Swedish Mission Council (via SIDA) allocated $2.1 million for the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).”
    • EAPPI sends volunteers to the West Bank to “witness life under occupation.” Upon completion of the program, the volunteers return to their home countries and churches where many engage in inflammatory anti-Israel, and at times antisemetic, rhetoric and advocacy, including advocating for BDS campaigns in churches, comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany, and other delegitimization strategies.
    • Sweden sends about 20 participants on the EAPPI program annually. Upon returning to Sweden, many EAPPI activists use their experience in the West Bank to promote anti-Israel campaigns, including BDS.
  • Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
    • In 2021-2025, NRC is receiving multiple grants amounting to $2.1 million for projects in the West Bank and Gaza.
    • One of NRC’s principal projects in Israel, “Information, counseling, and legal assistance (ICLA),” exploits judicial frameworks to manipulate Israeli policy, bypassing democratic frameworks.
      • In 2017, ICLA’s “beneficiary targets” included “3628 opened and continuing cases for legal assistance in the West Bank (West Bank 612 new and 3016 continuing),” as well as “40 advocacy briefings given on specific HLP [Housing, Land, and Property] and residency issues (verbal or written), 10 of instances information is submitted to other UN mechanisms, and 75 public interest cases challenging unjust HLP issues.
      • NRC also leads the “Legal Task Force,” a UN-OCHA organized mechanism, which coordinates legal responses by 14 Palestinian, Israeli, and international NGOs. An NRC funding appeal notes a close relationship with the PA, explaining that “Legal aid interventions will be coordinated with the PA thru the Legal Task Force” (emphasis added).
      • A lawyer affiliated with the NRC program stated that the objective of these cases are an attempt to “try every possible legal measure to disrupt the Israeli judicial system… as many cases as possible are registered and that as many cases as possible are appealed to increase the workload of the courts and the Supreme Court to such an extent that there will be a blockage” (emphasis added).
    • In April 2018, NRC contractor Yasser Murtaja was killed in the violence on the Gaza border. An NRC statement notes, “Yasser Murtaja…had agreed to document for NRC the bitter prolonged struggle faced by Palestinian refugees in Gaza. The work was planned to start the day after he was killed.” Israeli officials accused Murtaja of being a Hamas activist.
  • European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)
    • ECFR received $368 222 in 2018-2019 from Sida.
    • ECFR has been one of the leading BDS advocates in Europe under the guise of a so-called “differentiation” policy. Under differentiation, ECFR lobbies the EU and European governments to adopt policies that promote silent boycott and divestment of any business activities supposedly related to Israeli “settlements built on occupied territory” on the false basis that such activities violate international law and the “domestic legal order.”
    • In December 2019, the Jerusalem Post published an article exposing that while ECFR accepts donations from donors who do business in the occupied territories of Western Sahara and Northern Cyprus, it pushes for the EU and European governments to adopt policies that promote silent boycott and divestment of any business activities supposedly related to Israeli “settlements built on occupied territory.” This reflects ECFR’s non-objective standards which single out Israel while ignoring comparable conflict situations.

Sida Funding to NGOs Active in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Palestinian Medical Relief Society$1,227,137 (2020)
$409,046 (2020-2024)
Al-Haq, Al-Mezan, BADIL, DCI-P, B´Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Gisha and Yesh Din (Human Rights Programme)$8,143,064 (2020-2024)
Save the Children$3,772,800 (2017-2021)
Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP) $932,738 (2021)
$998,046 (2019-2020)
EcoPeace Middle East$2,157,553 (2018-2020)
Islamic Relief Sweden$1,748,884 (2021)
$1,462,864 (2019-2020)
Norwegian Refugee Council$4,234,666 (2020-2024)
$1,259,495 (2020)
$585,001 (2017-2020)
Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR)$932,738 (2020)
Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)$2,010,665 (2021-2022)

Funding through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • In 2022, the Swedish MFA granted NIS 197,848 to Yesh Din.
    • Yesh Din regularly petitions the Israeli High Court of Justice and engages in advocacy, including briefings to foreign diplomats, to alter what it labels as “discriminatory” policies.
    • The activities of Yesh Din are central to promoting the claim that investigative systems and courts in Israel are unable or unwilling to investigate allegations of wrongdoing. This campaign is part of a broader “legal warfare” strategy, of pushing “war crimes” cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC), and using poor information and convoluted statistics to advance political claims.
  • In 2021, the Swedish MFA granted NIS 443,760 to Ir Amim.
    • Although Ir Amim has been described as “work[ing] toward coexistence in Jerusalem,” an Ir Amim official was quoted as saying that the group was “seeking to advance a political agenda, and was not an organization geared to promote coexistence.”
    • Ir Amim frequently accuses Israel of attempting to “Judaize” Jerusalem and promotes the Palestinian narrative on the city, including claims that “government powers are being handed over to the settler organizations” and archeological digs have become an important “tool in the fight for control” over Jerusalem.
  • In 2020, the Swedish MFA granted NIS 183,174 to Terrestrial Jerusalem.
    • Promotes a one-sided approach to the conflict, placing sole blame for the failure of the peace process on Israel. The complexities of the situation in Jerusalem are erased, including illegal building and crime in Palestinian neighborhoods, damage to the Temple Mount as a result of illegal digging by the Waqf, and incitement to violence against Jews by extremist clerics.

MFA Funding to NGOs

Yesh DinNIS 197,8482022
NIS 177,0632021
Ir AmimNIS 443,7602021
NIS 261,7862020
NIS 310,2252019
Geneva InitiativeNIS 259,8752020
Terrestrial JerusalemNIS 183,1742020

Indirect Funding

Indirect Swedish Funding to NGOs Active in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Oxfam $291,481 (2021)
$9,573,749 (2015-2020)
$1,216,985 (2020)
Kvinna till Kvinna$353,097 (2021)
$277,434 (2021)
$5,097,695 (2017-2020)
$763,750 (2019-2020)
Diakonia$732,607 (2021-2025)
$305,996 (2021-2025)
$154,776 (2021-2025)
$144,458 (2021-2025)
$3,434,133 (2016-2022)
$6,074,051 (2015-2020)
$481,956 (2016-2020)
$135,469 (2018-2020)
We Effect$5,971,964 (2020-2024)
$1,822,438 (2018-2022)
Forum Syd$584,116 (2018-2022)
$210,997 (2021)
Olof Palme$1,586,644 (2020-2021)
$515,032 (2020-2021)
“Prosecution Expert”$431,305 (2018-2020)
Swedish Mission Council$558,890 (2017-2021)
$168,692 (2020)
$52,141 (2019-2020)
$30,344 (2020)
Folke Bernadotte Academy$5,081,599 (2020-2024)

Funding via the United Nations

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the occupied Palestinian territory

  • In 2017-2020, Sweden budgeted $11.4 million to OHCHR for projects in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. Sweden does not reveal what are these projects.
  • In February 2020, OHCHR published a discriminatory blacklist of entities allegedly conducting activities in areas over the 1949 Armistice line. The database aimed at economically damaging companies that are owned by Jews or do business with Israel, and is ultimately meant to harm the Jewish state.

UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FOA)


  • In 2018-2022, Sweden provided UNICEF with $919,981 “for UNICEF work on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).”
  • UNICEF spearheads a campaign to have Israel included on a UN blacklist of “grave” violators of children’s rights. The list appears as an annex to the UN Secretary-General’s annual report on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC). This political agenda is a primary facet of UNICEF’s activities relating to Israel, completely inconsistent with its mandate of “child protection” and from its guidelines for neutrality and impartiality. (Read NGO Monitor’s report “UNICEF and its NGO Working Group: Failing Children.”)

UN Women

Swedish Funding to the UN

UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FOA)$42,363 (2021)
UNICEF$919,981 (2018-2022)
OCHA$1,209,588 (2018-2020)
UN OCHA – Country Based Pooled Funds$10,811,721 (2017-2020)
UNDP$6,415,922 (2019-2020)
UNRWA$13,315,330 (2017-2020)
UN Women$1,703,751 (2020-2022)
$163,229 (2021-2022)
$1,067,784 (2021)
UNMAS$132,638 (2020-2022)


  1. Link removed. Original on file with NGO Monitor.

All Articles about Sweden

Further Reading