Sweden to Invest $36M in Bomb Shelters, Civil Defense

Sweden’s government said on Thursday it was investing 385 million kronor ($36 million) in strengthening its bomb shelters, emergency services, and civil defense after warning the country to prepare for war.

Civil Defense Minister Carl-Oskar Bohlin said Sweden, which joined NATO last month, would use the funds to strengthen the ability of rescue services to function during a conflict, bolster cyber security, and help the healthcare system build up medicine stocks.

Money would also be dedicated to restoring bomb shelters, drinking water supplies and transport infrastructure.

“Security has been deteriorating for a long time,” Bohlin told reporters.

He made waves in January when he told a defense conference “there could be war in Sweden.”

Shortly after, the commander of Sweden’s armed forces, Micael Byden, said Swedes needed to “mentally prepare for war.”

Sweden drastically slashed its defense spending after the end of the Cold War but reversed course following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

In March 2022, after Russia’s full invasion of Ukraine, Stockholm announced it would increase spending again, aiming to dedicate two percent of GDP to defense “as soon as possible.”

Late last year, the government said military spending would exceed the two-percent goal in 2024.

The country’s 2024 civil defense budget amounts to 6.5 billion kronor, according to news agency TT.

However, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency said in October it believed a yearly budget of 20 billion kronor was required in order to address needs.

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