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deza-seco-jahresbericht-2019-en

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Introduction

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"The effects of climate change were clearly felt in 2019. The world's poor were particularly affected by the consequences. This is why Switzerland's international cooperation systematically addresses the effects of climate change in all its programmes. But Switzerland cannot tackle climate change on its own: we do this through partnerships with multilateral institutions, civil society, the private sector and universities. Together we can reach our goals and make a difference."  

Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch
SECO Director 
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"In the coming years Switzerland will further increase its emphasis on climate change in international cooperation. We are working to ensure that international climate financing will benefit the most vulnerable countries and populations in particular. Sustainable development financing and climate financing are closely interlocked: there can be no sustainable development without mitigating climate change." 

Manuel Sager
SDC Director General (11/2014 - 04/2020)
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Global

Global challenges such as climate change, malnutrition, water scarcity, irregular migration and health crises increasingly affect the sustainable development of the middle and low income countries. As a neutral mediator with recognised expertise, Switzerland is committed to developing effective solutions at the multilateral level. 
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Crises

Protecting and assisting the victims of humanitarian crises and disasters is a priority for Switzerland's international cooperation. These humanitarian efforts focus on fragile contexts in particular. 
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Resources

Switzerland’s international cooperation aims to improve the living conditions of poor and vulnerable people. Life in dignity depends on permanent access to necessary resources and services. 
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Economy

Switzerland focuses its efforts on helping its partner countries achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth. It believes that all sections of the population should benefit from this growth, and that the well-being of future generations should not be compromised. The key to this is more and better jobs, as well as a favourable business environment. Sustainable growth gives people new opportunities and prospects, and reduces global risks. 
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Democracy

Switzerland has a long democratic tradition and uses its experience to support other countries in developing the rule of law, building democratic structures and strengthening institutions. This takes place at both the national and local level. The goal is to establish peaceful and stable societies in Switzerland's partner countries. 
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Freedom

Through its international cooperation, Switzerland actively works to ensure respect for, as well as to protect, promote and dynamically develop human rights. It conducts political dialogue in several partner countries and is active within various multilateral institutions. 
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Gender

Gender inequality is one of the greatest obstacles to sustainable development, economic growth, and poverty reduction. Switzerland is helping to ensure that women and men have the same right to develop their potential and can use their resources in a meaningful way. 
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Migration

Poverty and migration are among the greatest global challenges. People migrate for a variety of reasons. Some leave their homelands on account of violence and conflict. Others are looking for better work prospects. Decent work is the most effective means of eradicating poverty. More and better jobs are key to generating economic development that includes as many people as possible and reduces the pressure to migrate. 
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Effectiveness

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences went to three poverty researchers for their approach to alleviating global poverty. The laureates are pioneers in the use of controlled trials. Such impact evaluations, as they are known, are used to make strategic decisions for continuing development programmes. Switzerland has been conducting impact evaluations since 2016 and regularly organises the Impact Award with ETH Zurich.  
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Statistics

International cooperation activities by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Economic Cooperation and Development Division of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) constitute the major part of Swiss Official Development Assistance (ODA), which also includes contributions from other federal offices as well as activities supported by cantons and municipalities.
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Official development assistance (ODA) from member countries of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) totalled USD 153 billion in 2019. With its ODA/GNI ratio of 0.44%, Switzerland is below the average of DAC-EU countries (0.47%). Switzerland takes the 8th position in the international ranking comparing the ODA/GNI ratio of all DAC member countries.

In terms of financial volume, the largest donors are the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and France. Switzerland take the 11th place in absolute numbers.
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The share of SDC/SECO in international cooperation accounts for almost 80% of total ODA. Certain costs linked to the assistance to asylum seekers in Switzerland are recorded as ODA: their share fluctuates between 8% and 21% depending on the year. The rest includes other contributions from the Confederation, including bilateral debt relief operations in 2005 and 2009, as well as of cantons and municipalities.

The target set by the Parliament of an ODA/GNI rate of 0.5% has been reached by 2015 thanks to the growth of the means granted to international cooperation. From 2017, however, ODA has been declining as a result of reduced asylum costs and savings measures affecting international cooperation credits. The current ODA/GNI rate has fallen to 0.44%.
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Multilateral ODA includes core contributions from SDC and other federal agencies to international development institutions. International financial institutions (IFIs), of which the International Development Association (IDA), were the main beneficiaries of Switzerland's multilateral ODA, followed by United Nations agencies and finally other international organisations.

During the last fitfeen years, Switzerland's share of multilateral ODA remained relatively stable, between 20% and 25% of total ODA.

Contributions to international non-governmental organisations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), are considered bilateral ODA and therefore do not appear in this table.
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Latin America

Subsaharian Africa

Europe, North Africa and the Middle East

Asia

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Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe supports the Western Balkans and countries of the former Soviet Union in their transition to a social market economy and democracy. As a result, Switzerland helps to restore stability in these states and improves the opportunities available to the people living there.

In North Africa, projects focus on democratic transition and human rights, sustainable and inclusive economic development and employment, and migration and protection.

In the Middle East, SDC is working to provide protection and basic services for refugees and others in need, and to ensure sustainable water management.
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Switzerland's international cooperation concentrates more than a third of its resources on sub-Saharan Africa.

The focus of development cooperation is on the access of poor people to basic social services (health, education), infrastructure (water), employment and income, and sustainable growth.

Many regions of sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing chronic crisis, with affected populations relying on humanitarian assistance on a recurring and / or prolonged basis. In those regions, humanitarian interventions take place in coordinated actions with other partners of the international cooperation.
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Through its transition aid to countries in Central Asia, Switzerland supports regional and national water ressources managment, private sector development, as well as reforms in the public sector and the health sector.

Switzerland's international cooperation in East and South Asia focuses on countries and regions with persistently high multidimensional poverty rates, for example in terms of income, lack of security, limited access to services, chronic malnutrition, vulnerability to ecological and economic shocks, and social and ethnic discrimination of large population groups.
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SDC's program in Latin America cover local governance and decentralisation, job and income creation, climate change and water. In fragile contexts (Honduras, Haiti), the focus is on preventing violence, promoting human rights and strengthening the state.

In Peru, SECO’s main areas of support are the development of economic institutions, private sector competitiveness and access to basic public services. In Columbia, where certain areas continue to be heavily impacted by the presence of organized armed groups and organized crime. SECO is working to create better economic prospects, thereby also contributing to lasting peace.
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In order to make most effective use of the funds available for cooperation with Eastern Europe, Switzerland focuses on certain topics. In setting priorities, it takes account of the countries' needs and potential as well as Switzerland's expertise in the various thematic areas and regions. And lastly, political interests also play a role.
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SDC's humanitarian aid focuses on providing help on the ground and promoting respect for international law, with a particular emphasis on protecting civil populations, who are the most affected.
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SECO's economic and trade policy measures have four objectives. These include: more efficient institutions and services, more and better jobs, stronger trade and competitiveness, and a low emissions and climate resilient economy. They all contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth.
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The SDC's 500 development programmes and projects focus on 10 thematic areas. The SDC adapts its priorities according to the needs of the 21 South cooperation partner countries and regions.

With a view to ensuring sustainable development, the principles of gender mainstreaming and good governance are a common thread running through all its work.
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To reach the Parliament's target of 0.5% of ODA in proportion of Gross national income (GNI), the financial means awarded to international cooperation steadily grew till 2015.

Since 2016 onwards, the international cooperation credits have been deeply impacted by budgets cuts decided by the Federal Council and approved by the Parliament (stabilisation programs and debt brake).
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SECO's resources have gradually increased with the aim of achieving the target of an ODA/GNI rate of 0,5% by 2015.

Since 2016, the resources have gradually decreased as a result of the Confederation's economic measures which particularly affected the credits of international cooperation.
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The SDC concentrates most of its activities in the lowest income countries. In 2019, half of the bilateral spending went to Africa and the Middle East, a quarter to South and East Asia, and the remaining quarter to Latin America and to the transition assistance in Europe and Central Asia.

SECO is more active in middle-income countries. Transition assistance in Eastern countries accounts for more than a third of 2019 expenditure. South and East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America are, in almost equal parts, the other main recipient regions.
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With the Nature Conservation Programme (NCP), Switzerland is supporting North Macedonia in conserving the country's biodiversity and natural resources, while promoting sustainable and inclusive development.  
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The NCP assists North Macedonia in implementing ecosystem services throughout the country. This will enable local authorities to better understand the link between nature and development.  
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In the Maleševo region in the east of the country, a regional plan for forest development has been established with the NCP's support. Produced with the voluntary participation of 14 institutions, this plan will form the basis of a forest development strategy for this region of 806km2, of which almost 52% is under forest cover.
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The Osogovo mountains– an area of outstanding cultural, historical and natural importance for North Macedonia – was recognised as a protected zone in 2019. The upgrading has been made possible thanks to the cooperation of some 350 representatives of more than 35 institutions.  
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In the Bregalnica region, the NCP provides support for the process of identifying sites that meet the Natura 2000 criteria, a prerequisite for joining the EU. A number of endangered species and habitats have thus been identified, and three zones are now recognised as potential Natura 2000 sites.  
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Support from the NCP was also instrumental in the making and production of the film Honeyland. This feature-length documentary addresses universal issues such as the sustainable use of natural resources and how this impacts the world. It was nominated for an Oscar and received numerous prizes including the 'Impact for Change' award at the Sundance Film Festival. 
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Switzerland supports the development of eco-tourism in the Bregalnica region. Tourist numbers in the region rose by 12% between 2016 and 2018. The NCP played a part in this result with the opening of a tourist information centre and an educational centre for nature conservation as well as improved signposting on hiking trails.  
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Since 2007, Switzerland has contributed CHF 1.302 billion to projects aimed at reducing the economic and social disparities within the enlarged EU. With this contribution it aims to consolidate its economic and political relations with the EU and individual member states. In addition, Switzerland's engagement is an expression of solidarity.

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All projects under the enlargement contribution must be implemented within 10 years. The 10 countries that joined the EU in 2004 successfully completed their projects in 2017. All projects in Romania and Bulgaria were completed by the end of 2019. In Croatia, which joined the EU in 2013, the projects will continue until 2024.  

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A number of Swiss projects are aimed at strengthening civil society. In Romania, 94 organisations representing more than 260,000 people received support in relation to political education, sustainable development and the environment.

All results of the enlargement contribution for Romania
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In Bulgaria, the enlargement contribution allowed for the safe disposal of some 3,800 tonnes of toxic pesticides. These products, which today are banned, had been stored in over 200 warehouses falling slowly into disrepair.

All results of the enlargement contribution for Bulgaria

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In Croatia, a number of SMEs are receiving support to develop innovative projects in, for example, information technology. Five SMEs successfully obtained funding from the European Eurostars programme, which helps them take new products to the market.

All results of the enlargement contribution for Croatia

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On 3 December 2019, Parliament approved the framework credits for a second Swiss contribution to selected EU member states. However, Parliament has also decided that Switzerland will not sign any bilateral agreements with the partner countries under the second Swiss contribution as long as discriminatory measures by the EU remain in place. The Federal Council considers the EU's refusal to extend stock market equivalence to be a discriminatory measure.  

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Already today more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. Nearly all migrants and forcibly displaced persons, whether moving across borders or within a country, are heading for cities. There they hope to find work, housing and protection. 
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With over 1.4 million refugees, Uganda is the largest refugee-hosting nation in the Greater Horn of Africa region. After registering with the government, refugees are given plots of land with a view to achieving self-reliance. However, many refugees prefer to live in urban areas. Unfortunately, city authorities do not receive sufficient funding from the central government to provide quality public services.  
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To ease the growing pressure on crowded schools and overburdened health centres, the mayor of Arua Municipality, Isa Kato, went looking for solutions. He found support in Cities Alliance, of which Switzerland is an active member.  
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Through Cities Alliance, the local authorities of Arua are gaining the expertise they need to collect gender-sensitive data on the urban population and on gaps in public service delivery. Assessments are carried out to increase the number of classrooms where needed and step up the training of teachers. They also indicate where to increase health centres’ capacities and where to build the infrastructure needed to reach out to the city's informal sector.  
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Like Arua, other cities have proven innovative in fostering inclusive policies. To encourage learning from pioneers, the UN invited mayors from across the globe to the first-ever Global Refugee Forum, convened in Geneva in 2019. On this global stage, Arua joined with the cities of Amman in Jordan, São Paolo in Brazil, and Gaziantep in Turkey to present their pragmatic solutions.  
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The Swiss city of Zurich is also sharing its experience in the integration of migrants. The mayor of Zurich, Corine Mauch, is a member of the Swiss-supported initiative Mayors Migration Council. Speaking about the city-to-city partnership with the Lebanese city of Tyre, she said at the UN in 2019:

“It is a cooperation that builds capacity and strengthens cities’ resilience but also provides an opportunity for both sides to learn from one another.”
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The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria aims to end the HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics once and for all by 2030 and thereby save 16 million lives. Switzerland supports this goal with its expertise, assistance in strategic planning and financial resources. 
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HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria particularly affect low-income populations and hinder the economic development of the countries concerned. Moreover, the impact of these diseases does not stop at national borders. But change is on the way.
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In Ethiopia the government has found a way to bring health centres closer to the community. Thanks to front-line workers trained with Global Fund support, 748,601 cases of malaria were treated, 457,000 people received medical treatment over the course of a year and 100,000 cases of tuberculosis were detected and treated.  
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This is possible thanks to women like Tiber, working directly with the public in health education and promotion. In her soft but passionate voice, she explains to her listeners how important it is to have access to contraceptives and how the whole family can protect themselves against malaria, for example if everyone sleeps under a mosquito net.  
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Since the launch of the Global Fund programme in 2004, life expectancy has risen from 54 at birth to 65 years. The Global Fund has enabled Ethiopia to lead the way among low and middle-income countries in building resilient healthcare systems. 
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But eradicating malaria, tuberculosis and HIV worldwide will require the commitment of all stakeholders in the health sector. Switzerland supports the Global Fund by sharing its strategic knowledge and experience in the health sector with other countries. It champions coordination between governments, civil society and business. Stepping up the fight against these three diseases calls for a concerted effort by all stakeholders in the health sector. 
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As a board member of both UNAIDS and the Global Fund, Switzerland advocates and facilitates increased cooperation between these complementary, Geneva-based organizations. Together they can support governments even more effectively.  
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Vietnam is one of Asia’s major rice granaries and a top rice exporter. As a result, the Mekong Delta is experiencing environmental challenges such as water shortages and soil pollution. However, despite the intensive production, local rice farmers are still among the poorest and those most left behind by social development. The new research-based project CORIGAP demonstrates how this can be changed.  
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Most smallholder rice farmers typically farm less than the size of two football fields. They work with outdated technologies, use high amounts of chemicals and often do not earn enough to sustain their families. Switzerland and its partners have developed CORIGAP as a new and environmentally friendly project for smallholder farmers in the Mekong Delta.  
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In Vietnam, CORIGAP promotes the 1M5R approach (1 must do, 5 reductions). The '1 must do' refers to the requirement to use certified seeds, while the '5 reductions' refer to a reduction in seed rates, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, water and post-harvest losses. All six rules aim to improve the living conditions of smallholder farmers and protect the environment. 
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Tuan Ve, a farmer in the Can Tho province, participated in a CORIGAP training course:

“Certified seeds are expensive and in the past I applied more than 120kg, which turned out to be too much. After the field trial, I realised that the quantity of seeds I sow can be reduced substantially without decreasing my yield.”

Like Tuan Ve, around 235,000 farmers were reached by the project in six countries. They all reported an increase in profit.
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Building on this success, Switzerland is now reaching out to as many farmers as possible in the second phase. This includes linking farmers to private sector partners to sell their rice at fair prices and under ethical conditions. 
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In a 2019 survey, rice farmers reported remarkable results. They now need 30% less rice seeds. They have reduced their use of water and pesticides. Their yields have increased and generated an added revenue of USD 280 per hectare. Moreover, the farmers were easily able to sell their surplus at a fair price to traders or local consumers. Overall, this results in an average increase in profit of 40% for farmers like Tuan Ve. 
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Given that this striking evidence could help many more smallholder farmers around the globe, Switzerland has shared its research insights with experts from the Sustainable Rice Platform. Together with this global alliance of rice industry players, Switzerland has supported the development of global standards on environmentally sustainable rice production.  
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As a country of destination, transit and origin, Egypt is home to a large population of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa, mainly from Syria, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea. The majority of migrants and refugees face numerous challenges in terms of protection and meeting their basic needs. They are particularly vulnerable to poverty and to sexual and gender-based violence.  
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In Egypt, community-based organisations play a key role in supporting migrants and refugees. Switzerland therefore supports St Andrew's Refugee Services (StARS), a Cairo-based organisation that provides more than 19,000 refugees and migrants with quality services and a safe and inclusive space to come together as a community. 
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Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis visited the StARS project during his visit to Egypt in March 2019.

“Improving the general situation for migrants reduces migratory pressure over time. Through its economic and development cooperation in Egypt, Switzerland is also helping to improve living conditions for the local population.”

Ignazio Cassis, Federal Councillor 
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More than 80% of the people working at StARS are themselves refugees or migrants, which means they have closer cultural and linguistic ties to the people they support and are better able to meet their needs.

"I have been with StARS for a year and one month. I was searching for a job where I can work with refugees as I am a refugee myself. We have a network of doctors and give free consultations and medication. We are trying to save lives and we do our best to help everyone."

Rimaz Mohieldin, a doctor working at StARS
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StARS offers the most vulnerable migrants psychosocial support, legal aid and access to care and education services. For example, the education programme at StARS serves almost 300 children. StARS also offers assistance in cases of sexual and gender-based violence and other emergency situations.  
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The Ninh Thuan solar park in southern Vietnam began commercial operation in June 2019 with Swiss support. It generates 168 megawatts of power and supplies almost 200,000 people. 
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Over the past 30 years, Vietnam has introduced a series of cautious market liberalisation reforms. This has significantly reduced poverty and opened up the economy. However, it has also increased the country's demand for energy.
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Vietnam currently generates almost two thirds of its energy from coal, oil and gas. Until 2015, only 4% came from renewable sources. In response to climate change, the government has committed to increasing the use of renewables in the future.
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Switzerland supports this effort. As a member of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), it helped build the solar park. The power generated there will be fed into the national grid with a 20-year purchase guarantee, reducing the country's annual carbon emissions by 240,000 tonnes.  
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Most of the people living in the vicinity of the solar park are farmers. Initially, they feared negative effects on their environment. Then, they saw that the park was being built on wasteland unsuitable for farming and would create much needed jobs. 
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New roads were built alongside the solar park and the surrounding villages. These not only facilitate the transport of livestock and agricultural products but also make it easier for the children to get to school. "I am very proud that this project has helped improve the country's economic development and the quality of life for the local population," says local community spokesperson Ha Thi Thu Nga. 

Further information

Website SECO: Vietnam

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Indonesia consists of more than 17,000 islands with a vast cultural diversity. The country therefore has great potential for tourism. Since 2009, Switzerland has been promoting sustainable tourism that contributes to economic development and creates new business opportunities and jobs.
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A Swiss programme supports tourist services in a number of Indonesian destinations, which help protect nature and local culture and involve the local population. This programme makes Indonesia more attractive to tourists, for example by advising local service providers. 
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To successfully offer services in the tourism sector, the staff involved must have the necessary skills. In collaboration with local authorities and the private sector, the programme therefore increased its support for vocational schools and higher education institutions in 2019. This enabled them to improve the quality of their training and align it more closely with the needs of local businesses in the tourism sector.
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"Our teaching staff are better qualified now, and we have more students graduating from our course", says Agustinus Taruk, head of a vocational school in Toruja. 
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Of course, tourism can also have a negative impact on the climate, natural resources and the cultural heritage of local communities. The Swiss programme therefore also supports sustainability schemes of local governments, for example to reduce plastic and waste. 
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Since the programme was launched in 2009, international tourist numbers in the selected destinations have risen by over 65%. The level of tourist satisfaction has also improved, leading to a 60% rise in tourist spending. This has enabled hundreds of families to increase their incomes.

Further information

Website SECO: Indonesia


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More than two million Bosnian citizens live abroad, of whom around 60,000 live in Switzerland. Many of them want to contribute to their home country's development, either through financial support or their expertise. The Diaspora for Development project was created to realise this potential. 
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Valuable input from Bosnians abroad was instrumental in creating Remus Innovation, a manufacturing facility established with Swiss support as part of the Remus group. It is located in the small Bosnian town of Sanski Most where it currently employs 120 people. 
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Since the project began, around 1,000 women and men have been able to find a job in Bosnia and Herzegovina, enabling them to stay at home. 
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Diaspora for Development has run projects at other locations too. In Mostar, for example, it hosted a hackathon involving more than 30 young programmers. Participants developed software solutions for local companies in agriculture, tourism and the metal industry. Mentors from the Bosnian diaspora supported the event, which resulted in the creation of five IT start-ups. 
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In Posušje in western Herzegovina, 22 secondary students were trained in machine tool operation as part of an initiative led by the local community and the Bosnian diaspora. The machine was purchased and provided by a businessman from the diaspora. The aim of the project was to give young people hands-on training, which would also contribute to the community's economic development and prospects.  
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It is important for young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina to have career prospects and for the country to continue its economic and political development. Sustainable development in Bosnia and Herzegovina is also in Switzerland's interests, since a stable situation in the Balkans also ensures stability in Europe. 
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In summer 2019 several million square kilometres of forest and pastureland caught fire in eastern Bolivia, a priority country of Swiss development cooperation. 
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In response to a request from the Bolivian government, Swiss Humanitarian Aid sent a regional emergency aid team to support the firefighting effort. The Grupo de Intervención y Apoyo Rápido (GIAR) is a team of emergency aid experts on the ground who can be deployed for emergency relief operations.
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They worked from the town of Roboré, where the Bolivian authorities also have their operational headquarters. GIAR supported the national authorities in the procurement and distribution of firefighting kits, equipping 200 firefighters from the fire service, army and local authorities with tools and protective gear such as helmets, fire axes, goggles and smoke masks. This assistance helped them to fight and contain the forest fires from the ground. 
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Meanwhile, Swiss Humanitarian Aid also developed a tracking tool to locate fire sources. This app was used to monitor two million hectares of land, corresponding to almost half the surface area of Switzerland. 
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In conjunction with satellite images, the app made it easier to track the progress of fires. The Swiss team trained the Bolivian army in use of the app, which made the entire firefighting process much more efficient. 
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In Burkina Faso, over 40% of people live below the poverty line. The country's economy depends heavily on agriculture and small craft businesses, which provide the main income for nearly 80% of the population. Inadequate basic services and high population growth are putting intense pressure on the infrastructure.  

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Swiss-backed decentralisation efforts launched by the government of Burkina Faso in 1991 seek to develop high quality public services geared to people's needs. There have been obstacles in implementation, particularly the inadequate transfer of resources to communities and a lack of know-how among local officials. 

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Decentralisation improves transparency and efficiency in local governance. Citizens are more involved in decision-making processes. Switzerland supports local and regional actors in drawing up development plans in consultation with the population. 

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With Switzerland's support, 30 local administrations have developed services to meet the social needs (education, health, access to drinking water) and economic needs (transport and markets) of over 6 million people in Burkina Faso. 

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More than 700 Swiss-backed projects have made a difference in the areas of education, health, water, local economic development and registry services. For example, a network of more than 300km of roads has been built in the east of the country, helping to develop cities and provide access to markets. More than 110,000 people have gained access to drinking water thanks to the building of infrastructures such as wells. 

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The programme also aims to foster local democracy. Switzerland supports the strengthening of associations and the media to ensure greater transparency and accountability of elected officials.

"I'm happy to be a part of this community radio station. With Switzerland's support, we can make local voices heard in favour of local governance and lasting social dialogue. It's more than a radio – it is a means of communication for local development."

Fabrice Zongo, journalist at Radio Palabre, Koudougou

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Switzerland supports the PAMPAT project in Tunisia and Morocco, which improves conditions for the production and sale of local products. 
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A growing number of consumers are willing to pay higher prices for products with strong cultural and traditional links. This creates promising opportunities for small rural producers, as they do not have to compete on price with standard products and are rewarded for preserving their cultural heritage. 
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A good example of traditional products are prickly pears, which grow abundantly throughout Tunisia. When the PAMPAT project started in 2013, there were only five Tunisian companies making products from prickly pears. By 2019, there were already 30 with over 100 different products. This has created 1,000 new jobs.  
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The project also helps Tunisian producers of harissa (a hot chilli pepper paste) and figs from Djebba to develop, process and market their products better both nationally and internationally. The project also establishes new quality standards, seals of approval and certification systems and creates interconnected value chains from the farmers to the export markets.  
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National competitions for regional products are also held as part of the project. These are based on events already successfully launched in Switzerland by the Fondation Rurale Interjurassienne. Dozens of companies have seen sales increase by around 50% thanks to such exhibitions and tastings. 
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Based on the positive results, Switzerland decided in 2019 to continue running the project until 2024. It now also supports other products such as dates, pomegranates and sun-dried tomatoes. The national competitions will be extended to Egypt and Georgia. PAMPAT is implemented by UNIDO, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. 

Further information

Website SECO: Tunisia
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On the night of 14 March 2019 Cyclone Idai made landfall near the city of Beira in the Sofala province in Mozambique, a priority country of Swiss development cooperation. More than 600 people died as a result of Cyclone Idai. An estimated two million people suffered the consequences of the disaster: crop failures, increased risk of epidemics and thousands of displaced people.
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On 16 March 2019 Switzerland dispatched a number of specialists from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) to Mozambique. After assessing the situation on the ground, this first team launched initial emergency aid operations in three key areas: access to drinking water, provision of temporary shelters, and logistics. 
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The SHA focused its water activities on the region around Dombé. In cooperation with the local authorities, three drinking water supply services were organised, restoring access to drinking water for 785 families (22,000 litres a day for approximately 4,000 people).  
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SHA specialists also worked on reconstructing more than 200 wells. At the same time, they trained the staff of Solidar Suisse – a partner on the ground for several years – in the inspection of water points, analysis of water quality and cleaning of wells.  
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Switzerland contributed more than 12 tonnes of relief supplies to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Switzerland's consignments included tarpaulins, multi-purpose tents and repair tools. Two SHA logistics experts worked for the IOM to distribute these supplies in Beira.  
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On 25 April 2019, just six weeks after Idai, northern Mozambique was hit by another cyclone, Kenneth, which killed more than 50 people and left almost 380,000 people in need. Part of Switzerland's relief supplies were redirected to this second devastated zone. Three SHA water and sanitation specialists were deployed to the area. 
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In total, Switzerland sent 19 SHA specialists and some 20 tonnes of equipment and supplies to Mozambique. It allocated CHF 3 million to help the survivors of both disasters, mainly in Mozambique but also in neighbouring countries. 
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The Middle East is one of the most water-stressed regions in the world. Apart from the scarcity of water, the situation is exacerbated by poor water management and ongoing conflicts. 
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Switzerland has supported the Blue Peace initiative in the Middle East since 2011. This is a movement which calls on governments, the business sector and communities to come together and work with each other. Water is therefore transformed from a potential source of conflict into an instrument for promoting peace.  

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Specifically, the Blue Peace initiative involves cooperation in various fields, such as journalist training so as to improve the coverage of water issues in the region and raise awareness among citizens and politicians. It also contributes to hydro-political studies and to job creation, with knowledge transfer from Swiss experts to SMEs in the water and sanitation sector.  

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Furthermore, Switzerland encourages systemic changes in regional water management policy. In 2019, for example, a regional water council was established with representatives from Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and, to some extent, Syria.

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One outcome of these regional exchanges was the construction of hydrometric stations on the Tigris River, which means that decisions regarding this basin of more than 20 million inhabitants can now be taken on the basis of scientific data. 

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The question of how to measure multilateral cooperation on water was addressed in 2019 by the Economist Intelligence Unit and Switzerland with the development of the Blue Peace Index.  

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This index assesses the extent to which countries manage their shared water resources in a sustainable manner. It provides important data for politics, business and research and promotes sustainable investments and socially responsible guidelines for water use. This enables shared water resources in the region to be managed more peacefully and sustainably.  

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Since 2011 Switzerland has supported the PAEFE project (Programme d'appui à l'éducation et à la formation des enfants exclusives du système éducatif) to support children and young people with no access to the education system. More than 45% of young people in Benin do not attend school.  
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PAEFE specifically targets youngsters between the ages of 9 and 15 who are too old for primary school but too young to learn a trade. A total of 98 alternative education institutions were opened. Here the children have an opportunity to obtain a diploma and then go on to find work. 
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The impact evaluation examines the effectiveness of the project on both the participants and the public education sector. In a quantitative study conducted in 2017 and 2018, a total of 2,564 young people were asked about their situation. One third of them took part in the project, while the rest formed a control group.
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In summer 2019, students in their final term underwent a qualitative survey on their professional integration. At the same time, a quantitative survey of all children from the different groups was carried out. 
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For all participants, the project led to a clear improvement in their knowledge of the local language and to a lesser extent French.

Many of them had become more interested in pursuing an apprenticeship or further education. Among the girls, the age at which they intended to get married and start having children was higher. 
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The study also demonstrated the importance of expanding the interaction between the public education sector and the newly opened alternative education institutions. 
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Since the conclusion of the first project phase, the authorities in Benin have been working on continuing the model.

Further information

Project website: Helvetas
Project website (fr): SDC
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In Colombia, Switzerland has been successfully implementing a project since the beginning of 2015 to improve access to water and sanitation for the rural population and thus improve hygiene.  
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The project was launched during the peace negotiations between the FARC guerrilla movement and the government. One of the main objectives is to help stabilise the peace by improving the water supply. More than 50 years of civil war in Colombia have resulted in a breakdown of trust between the authorities and marginalised communities. Some parts of the country have been neglected by the government for years because of the armed conflict. 
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The Colombian government has sufficient funds to finance its water infrastructure. But it lacks the expertise and trained personnel to build and manage a lasting infrastructure. This project aims to improve the local water supply and sanitation systems, bring together the various stakeholders and promote the use of new technologies.  
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The project is a direct action by Switzerland but is managed exclusively by Colombian experts. It is being implemented in six provinces in the west of the country and has already delivered results. At the local level too, people are interested in investing in their future. They are learning how to seek support from the relevant government agencies to improve their water supply, and this helps to restore their confidence in the authorities.  
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This project demonstrates that access to water and sanitation not only meets people's immediate needs – it can also provide effective support for a country on the path to peace. 
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Children going back to school after a disaster, women setting up a small business for the first time: these are just some of the examples of Switzerland's successful partnership with Pakistan, which concluded at the end of 2019. Among its various activities, Switzerland worked to protect human rights so as to improve livelihoods in the long term. 
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On 10 December 2019 women and men took to the streets of Peshawar to demand better protection of human rights. Broad-based consultations and intensive talks with civil society over the past 10 years have led to new laws being proposed, many of which were subsequently debated in the political arena and enacted by the government. 
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Together with the UN, Switzerland has supported such legislative processes in north-western Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan. This has produced tangible results, and the rights of women, children and minorities are now better protected. 
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For example, it is still unusual for women in Pakistan to join the police force. But thanks to Swiss support, many women in Peshawar have been inspired to choose policing as a profession. Education now places particular emphasis on strengthening the rights of women and children.  
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A new database created with Swiss support also facilitates the collection of human rights-related data. Masood Ahmed, general secretary of the Human Rights Directorate in Peshawar, is pleased with the technical advances it offers:

"With this database, we can show the progress our province is making in human rights at the click of a mouse. All 34 districts of the province now have someone who acts as a human rights contact person for the general population and the administration." 
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Building on this successful launch in the first province, the government has decided to introduce the database in all other provinces of the country and at the federal level. 
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An impact evaluation co-financed by Switzerland has confirmed the effectiveness of a Swiss project on Burkina Faso's health system.  
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With 80% of the population living in rural areas, comprehensive healthcare poses a challenge. As recently as 2013, one in every eight children was dying as a result of misdiagnosis or the wrong medication.  
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The Integrated e-Diagnosis Approach (IeDA) project helps healthcare professionals to follow the guidelines more closely. At the heart of the project is a tablet app that assists with diagnosis and treatment and at the same time registers infant patient data. 
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From 2014 to 2017, an impact evaluation was conducted alongside project implementation in eight regions of the country. Over a period of three years, data from 2,038 infants was collected in the health centres using the new app. In one third of the cases (target group) the new software was used, while in the others (control group) the diagnosis was made by means of a paper questionnaire.
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Compared with the control group, compliance with the guidelines was 25% better in the target group. There was a significant improvement in the proportion of correct diagnoses. In cases of infectious diarrhoea in particular, successful diagnosis was 39% higher.  
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The programme attracted international interest and successfully mobilised new funding partners. The target for 2020 is to have 62% of all health centres in the country using the new software and over 3 million patients registered.  
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The World Health Organization (WHO) is working to extend the IeDA approach to neighbouring Mali and Niger.

Further information

Website: Terre des hommes
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The conflicts that ravaged the Great Lakes region (Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo) in the 1990s weakened the population and the social fabric. Rape was systematically used as a weapon of war. Even though the fighting has officially ended, sexual and gender-based violence remains a serious concern. 
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To address both the physical and psychological impact on victims, Switzerland launched a programme in 2011 to provide psychosocial support for women who have suffered sexual violence. The programme works not only with victims but with the entire community to facilitate their reintegration. 
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The involvement of men is a decisive factor. To enable behavioural change, the focus is on prevention and on raising awareness among men and local authorities of the issue of sexual and gender-based violence.  
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'Healing workshops' offer victims an opportunity to regain their mental health over time and build positive social relationships. Set up within the communities, they provide spaces for communication between people who have been through the same ordeals and have similar needs.
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"The workshop brought back memories of the rape. But talking to others made me realise I wasn't the only victim. Taking part in these workshops by the Women's Network for Rights and Peace was an important step for me in the healing process."

Testimonial of a survivor from South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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The psychosocial approach incorporates medical, psychosocial and legal aspects, placing particular emphasis on the reintegration of victims in their communities. To reduce sexual and gender-based violence, it is essential to continue working at the community level and improve the healthcare facilities available. It is also imperative that governments continue their efforts to combat impunity.  
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In 2019 some 26,000 people – 70% of whom were women – directly benefited from this project across the three countries of the Great Lakes region. Of the 11,000 new cases of rape, more than 600 victims received legal aid, and 50 court rulings were in favour of the victims.

Further information

Website SDC: The Great Lakes Region
Website SDC: Gender equality
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Government, institutions and individuals have an essential role to play in promoting women's economic empowerment. Effective policies are needed to bring about structural change and enable women to engage in the labour market, not only as employees, but also as entrepreneurs.  
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In this regard, Switzerland participated in an analysis of the situation in the South Caucasus seeking to understand wage disparities between men and women.  
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With Swiss support, Georgia set up a workplace protection system for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. Employers are now required to adapt the working environment of such women and avoid exposing them to certain risks. 
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Switzerland has also supported women's entrepreneurship and leadership in rural communities. In particular, the Women's Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus (WEESC) project aims to engage some 1,200 women in employment to enable them to increase their contribution to household income. 
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In several municipalities in Georgia and Armenia, Switzerland supports women's participation in decision-making processes. Their involvement in public management has made it possible to raise some issues that were not previously addressed, such as access to drinking water or the quality of the road infrastructure, which is essential for better access to markets.  
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Since 2019, a cable car has been running over Colombia's capital Bogotá as a means of public transport. It also boosts the city's social and economic life. 

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Stretching across nearly three and a half kilometers, the TransMiCable links the low-income district of Ciudad Bolívar in the south-west with the main bus route in San Cristóbal in south-east Bogotá. 

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Thanks to the cable car, more than half a million inhabitants can now get around their city faster. It shortens the trip to workplaces and public services in the city centre by around 80 percent to just over 13 minutes. In its first three months of operation, the cable car carried more than 1.8 million passengers. 

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The TransMiCable replaces around 110 buses and reduces not only congestion on the city's streets but also carbon emissions. 

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The cable car generates new social and economic activities. The local authorities have refurbished the public spaces around the four station buildings with new squares, community centres, playgrounds and an abundance of street art. These developments boost the local economy and create new jobs. Many new businesses such as bakeries, souvenir shops, restaurants and even a hotel have sprung up alongside the stations. 

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The cable car was built by the Austrian-Swiss Doppelmayr group under an International Finance Corporation (IFC) programme.  

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In a sub-project financed by Switzerland, the IFC advised the Bogotá authorities on two issues: How can the government efficiently manage urban infrastructure developments while meeting international environmental and social standards? How can businesses be persuaded to increase their involvement in urban infrastructure projects? These considerations helped raise around USD 450 million from the private sector to support such projects. 

Further information

Website SECO: Colombia
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Los Sitios is a densely populated neighbourhood in central Havana with high rates of poverty, domestic violence, crime, prostitution and social exclusion. A high percentage of the population is living with HIV. Here Switzerland supports the Quisicuaba project, aimed at the social reintegration of at-risk groups. One area of focus is vocational skills development as a means of preventing youth crime and violence.  
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The project addresses gender stereotyping with ex-offenders convicted of domestic and other forms of violence. The aim is for them to change their gender stereotypes and adopt a more respectful attitude towards women and minorities.  
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The workshops with ex-offenders are led by psychologists and sociologists who, through various interactive techniques, encourage them to reflect on stereotypes of masculinity.  
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Getting them involved in household chores is one of the methods used. Every day, the participants prepare and serve food in soup kitchens for the poorest people in the neighbourhood. 
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The vocational school in Los Sitios has more than 100 students aged between 13 and 17. Almost 90% of them come from disadvantaged backgrounds and have no formal qualifications. All courses are open to both male and female students. The various trades taught – bricklayer, chef, dressmaker, barber – correspond to skills in demand on the job market.  
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Students also participate in workshops on gender and sexual diversity, and anti-gay bullying is not tolerated. Female students are taught about the risks of sexual harassment and other types of gender-based violence. Safe sex and teenage pregnancy are also addressed regularly.

"In these workshops, we deal with different types of violence but we also talk about how to be a good father."

Y. Rodríguez, project coordinator
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The Swiss Entrepreneurship Programme strengthens local entrepreneurship networks that support start-ups.  
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People with innovative ideas and entrepreneurial drive have great potential for creating new businesses and jobs. However, developing and emerging countries often lack the expertise, capital and basic services needed to start a business.  
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The Swiss Entrepreneurship Programme forms partnerships with local service providers for start-ups and builds networks with mentors and investors. The programme is currently under way in Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Peru and Vietnam. The second phase of the programme began in 2019. Now the programme also aims at influencing the regulatory business environment in countries in order to improve general framework conditions for companies.  
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In 2019, the 'Women Entrepreneurs Week' was held in Zurich for the second time. The event provided 20 women entrepreneurs from seven countries the opportunity to network with each other, with representatives of the Swiss start-up scene and with international mentors. They worked on how to successfully position their businesses and promote them online.  
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Peruvian entrepreneurs Claudia Quintanilla and Amparo Nalvarte, both active in financial technologies, were among those who met up at the event. Claudia is the founder of Rextie, an online platform digitally converting US dollars into local currency in real time at a fair exchange rate. Claudia is looking for investors in order to expand her business. She wants to adapt her solution more closely to the Peruvian context and enable digital signatures.  
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Claudia and her mentor Amparo developed a growth strategy for Rextie. "I was so impressed by Claudia's dedication, perseverance and determination that I decided to invest USD 50,000 of my own funds in her business", says Amparo.

Further information

Website: Women Entrepreneurs Week 2019
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Overview
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Chapter 2 Global

Chapter 3 Crises

Chapter 4 Resources

Chapter 5 Economy

Chapter 6 Democracy

Chapter 7 Freedom

Chapter 8 Gender

Chapter 9 Migration

Chapter 10 Effectiveness

Chapter 11 Statistics

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