The purpose of this paper is to give an overview of Swedish aid policy and its poverty orientation. The paper starts with a historical account of the evolution of Swedish aid policy. This is followed by a look at how well policy has been put into practice. This issue is approached from two perspectives. First, by looking at the strategic implementation of the policy, examining the composition of the aid portfolio in terms of the allocation of resources to various sectors and countries; and second, by looking at the effectiveness of the chosen strategy. How well does Swedish aid succeed in meeting its set objectives? The paper ends with a summary of the effectiveness of policies for poverty reduction in terms of producing aid programmes that will make a contribution towards that end.