Swiss International Cooperation – Annual Report 2019
SDC Director General (11/2014 - 04/2020)
Overcoming global challenges
Managing crises, disasters and fragility
Resources and services for all
Promoting sustainable economic growth
Strengthening the rule of law, democracy and institutions
Promoting human rights and basic freedoms
Achieving gender equality
Migration in focus
Effectiveness in focus
Switzerland in international comparison ODA 2019
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.
Composition and evolution of Swiss ODA from 2004 to 2019
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%.
Composition and evolution of multilateral ODA of Switzerland from 2004 to 2019
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.
Europe, North Africa and the Middle East
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.
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.
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.
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.
SDC Cooperation with Eastern Europe
SECO Development and economic cooperation by objective
SDC Development Cooperation
With a view to ensuring sustainable development, the principles of gender mainstreaming and good governance are a common thread running through all its work.
Distribution and evolution of SDC expenditures
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).
Distribution and evolution of SECO expenditures
Since 2016, the resources have gradually decreased as a result of the Confederation's economic measures which particularly affected the credits of international cooperation.
Bilateral expenditures by region
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.
North Macedonia at the heart of Europe's biodiversity
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.
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.
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.
Reducing economic and social disparities
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.
All results of the enlargement contribution for Romania
All results of the enlargement contribution for Bulgaria
All results of the enlargement contribution for Croatia
Strengthening cities for migration and development
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.
“It is a cooperation that builds capacity and strengthens cities’ resilience but also provides an opportunity for both sides to learn from one another.”
Step up the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria
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.
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.
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.
Ushering Vietnam towards a sustainable rice revolution
“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.
Website IRRI: International Rice Research Institute
Website CGIAR: Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
Website SRP: Sustainable Rice Platform
Protection for refugees and migrants in Egypt
“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
"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
Solar power in Vietnam
Website SECO: Vietnam
Sustainable tourism in Indonesia
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.
"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.
Website SECO: Indonesia
The diaspora as a driver for development
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.
An app in the fight against forest fires in Bolivia
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.
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.
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.
Decentralisation and citizen participation
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.
"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
Marketing local Tunisian products
Website SECO: Tunisia
Emergency aid for survivors of Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in Mozambique
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).
Water promotes peace in the Middle East
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.
A second chance for schoolchildren: Impact evaluation of a Swiss project in Benin
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.
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.
Building peace with water
Advancing human rights protection in Pakistan
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.
"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."
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.
Digital revolution in diagnostics
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.
Life projects for victims of sexual violence
'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.
"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
Website SDC: The Great Lakes Region
Website SDC: Gender equality
Promoting gender equality
In this regard, Switzerland participated in an analysis of the situation in the South Caucasus seeking to understand wage disparities between men and women.
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.
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.
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.
Affordable public transport for all
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.
Website SECO: Colombia
Ending gender stereotypes
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.
The workshops with ex-offenders are led by psychologists and sociologists who, through various interactive techniques, encourage them to reflect on stereotypes of masculinity.
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.
"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
Creating jobs through entrepreneurship
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.
Website: Women Entrepreneurs Week 2019