About us

SWEDO is an independent development and aid organization founded in Sweden in 1991. Since the beginning, we have worked tirelessly on the ground in the Middle East to help refugees and people in vulnerable situations. Since 2016 we are one of UNHCR’s main implementing partners in Iraq.

We are a non-profit organization and all funds we receive are distributed locally. Our strategy is based on the involvement of local and regional personnel to always have a local perspective and presence in our projects. This distinguishes us from other development and aid organizations. By maintaining a holistic approach, our goal is to create long-term, sustainable solutions to the challenges that arise in the wake of armed conflict, civil unrest, and destitution. Our work is additionally directed towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Our organization was founded under the name Qandil as a reaction to the Gulf War in the Middle East and more specifically as a prolonged response to the massacre in Halabja in 1988. In 2019 we changed our name to SWEDO, but we still work with the same methods and goals as when we first started, and we continue to be a non-religious, non-political organization. Since the beginning our ambition has been to reinforce local capacity and resilience and to reduce the need for international aid interventions.

Where we are

We have operations in Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and Syria. We have several active projects aimed towards rebuilding infrastructure, distributing supplies and providing access to clean water and sanitation. We also help with protection, education and the creation of opportunities for people to make a living in the region.

SWEDO’s policies and practices

Transparency and accountability are key aspects that permeate our entire organization. We hold ourselves accountable to our donors, partners, stakeholders, philanthropists, rights holders and, most of all, to the beneficiaries we serve. We adhere to the following principles presented here. If you have any questions about our organization or our operations, please don’t hesitate to ask us for more information.



As a humanitarian and development organization, we support people solely according to their needs. We do not discriminate based on age, gender, caste, ethnicity, political affiliation, disabilities or religion. We take extra precautions to adhere to the special needs of right holders and beneficiaries in our programs and we have a zero-tolerance policy against sexual exploitation or abuse (SEA).


Financial Transparency

We guarantee that all donated funds go towards helping people in conflict-affected areas. We have well-established finance monitoring procedures in place and offer complete transparency with fully supported audit access to our donors and financial supporters, and we have a zero-tolerance policy against corruption. Finally, we always work towards optimizing our resources to make our operations as cost-efficient as possible.

Risk management

Risk analysis and continuous mitigation measures is an essential part of designing and planning our projects.

Monitoring, evaluation and learning

We are constantly evolving as we gain experience from our projects and apply this new knowledge in future operations and plans. Our monitoring and evaluation team oversees this process and makes sure that our past experiences are translated into improved practices on the ground. We also have a well-established system for listening to our staff, stakeholders, right holders and beneficiaries. And finally, we have extensive training for all our staff so that they are well prepared for the task at hand.


In order to contribute effectively to humanitarian operations, we cooperate with our partners on national, regional and international levels. All our activities are financed by contributions from our donors.

Since 2016, we have been one of the main implementing partners of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in northern Iraq.

This partnership has meant that our organization now manages the Protection Assistance and Reintegration Centre (PARC) in Erbil.


Although these activities, in partnership with UNHCR, have become the cornerstone of our operation in northern Iraq, they are by no means the only activities that our organization is engaged in.

We have a long history of high quality service provision in the middle east, with past projects focusing on rehabilitation, construction, health and shelter. In addition to UNHCR, these other activities have either been supported or done in partnership with UN World Food Programme (WFP), UN Population Fund, (UNFPA) and Syria Recovery Trust Fund (SRTF).

In cooperation with: