Swiss International Cooperation - Annual Report 2021
Saving lives and strengthening access to basic services
How can economic growth become more sustainable?
Why do we need justice?
Protecting the climate and natural resources sustainably
What is the impact of COVID-19 on the world's lowest-income countries?
Earthquake in Haiti: a response that combines humanitarian aid with development aid
Switzerland was active in Haiti before the quake. Therefore, it could immediately contribute experts and material to support the Haitian civilian protection services. With the help of a local team, Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) water and sanitation experts installed ten drinking water tanks, each supplying 10,000 people. Tankers took turns filling the tanks.
Haiti is a priority country for the SDC, which has continued its assistance beyond the emergency response. Good relations with the local authorities and organisations have allowed the SDC to quickly put in place medium- and long-term support measures. Switzerland's extensive experience working with local governance greatly facilitated collaboration with local communities and institutions during the rehabilitation phase.
The Dipilto River in Nicaragua: preventing water-related conflicts
Dipilto project implementation partners:
GOPA Worldwide Consultants website
GIZ website: German Agency for International Cooperation
CCAD website (sp): Comision Centroamericana de Ambiente y Desarrollo (Central American Commission for Environment and Development)
For further information:
SDC website: Central America (Nicaragua, Honduras)
Remittances: a lifeline during crises
Improvement of the local self-governance System in Armenia
As part of this reform, Armenia adopted a new Electoral Code. Mayors in municipalities with more than 5,000 inhabitants are now elected on a proportional basis and the political participation of women is strengthened with introduction of 30% quota. This will increase competition in local elections and enable broader political participation.
Switzerland in international comparison ODA 2021
In terms of financial volume, the largest donors are the United States, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and France. Switzerland take the 11th place in absolute numbers.
Composition and evolution of multilateral ODA of Switzerland from 2004 to 2021
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.
Composition and evolution of Swiss ODA
The increase in international cooperation funds up to 2015 made it possible to meet the 0.5% ODA/GNI target set by Parliament that year. After 2016, ODA decreased due to lower asylum costs and cost-saving measures for international cooperation funds. Based on the additional resources for the COVID-19 pandemic and Afghanistan, ODA has increased since 2020. In 2021, it accounted for 0.51% of GNI.
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.
The Humanitarian Aid department implements programmes in the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, Central Africa and Southern Africa. It is active in various areas such as strengthening resilience to the effects of drought, protecting civilians in armed conflicts, food security, access to water and sanitation.
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.
Bilateral expenditure by region
SECO is more active in middle-income countries. Cooperation in Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East accounted for one-third of SECO's bilateral expenditure in 2021. Asia accounted for almost another third of the total.
SDC expenditure by sector
SECO expenditure by sector
SDC expenditure by continent and sector
SECO expenditure by continent and sector
Distribution and evolution of SDC expenditure
Between 2016 and 2018, international cooperation funds were affected by savings measures.
The increase in Swiss ODA in 2020 and 2021 is linked to additional funds approved by Parliament in response to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and to support international efforts to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Distribution and evolution of SECO expenditure
Between 2016 and 2018, its resources were reduced as a result of the federal government's cost-cutting measures.
Switzerland responds to humanitarian emergency in Afghanistan
Since then, the SDC has been supporting the humanitarian response and coordination efforts from Switzerland. It has pledged an additional CHF 33 million to its partners in Afghanistan for 2021.
(Picture © AKDN / Sandra Calligaro)
(Picture © ICRC)
Another close partner of Switzerland is the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), which has been active in Afghanistan since 1996. After the events in August 2021, the AKF launched an emergency appeal to address urgent humanitarian needs and to strengthen resilience and livelihood in mountainous areas. Switzerland contributed CHF 3.7 million, which is invested in covering the immediate needs of the most vulnerable people in remote areas. Working together with communities, the AKF focuses on food security, emergency livelihoods, health and education.
(Picture © AKDN / Sayed Habib Bidel)
Diversity and sustainability from field to plate
The UN Food Systems Summit, held in September 2021, clearly showed that food production and consumption must become more sustainable – for people, animals, plants and the planet. One of Switzerland's focal points is agroecology, i.e. the development of more environmentally friendly production techniques. Smallholder farmers need access to land, water, seeds, finance and education in order to minimise the impact of food production on the environment, promote biodiversity and curb climate change.
The 2021 NICE Project aims to provide long-term access to nutritious, locally produced, organic food in six cities in Rwanda, Kenya and Bangladesh. Switzerland and its partners also aim to minimise food waste and reduce pressure on natural resources.
Integrated urban development in Tunisia
Social and environmental impact investing
The initiative supports innovative financial solutions for new impact investing products through grants and start-up funding. In addition, it improves the framework conditions for impact investing in Switzerland and promotes work to improve the quality of impact measurement.
Myanmar: primary health care
"His life was saved!" exclaimed Saw Eh Marnel jubilantly, who is from Noh Maw Pu village in the Kyerinseikkyi township of Kayin State. Her 2-month-old son Lae Pwel's upper thigh had started swelling up. Thanks to a rapid and coordinated response, he was transported to Mae Sot Hospital in neighbouring Thailand, and operated on there.
Mozambique: a sustainable and resilient agriculture
Factors like social roles or lower level of education limit women's participation in markets and business. InovAgro trained 30 of the most promising female entrepreneurs in entrepreneurship and organised ‘Look and Learn’ visits to successful female-led enterprises.
Better gold from South America
Tackling the consequences of drought and food insecurity
Factors leading to this situation included the effects of climate change. Added to this are conflict-related displacement and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
(Picture © WFP/Tsiory Andriantsoarana)
(Picture © WFP/Tsiory Andriantsoarana)
(Photos © WFP/Tsiory Andriantsoarana)
Benin: coaching and training to promote inclusive, sustainable economic growth
Benin's economy is underdeveloped, with the majority of the workforce employed casually in the informal sector.
Supported through Switzerland's ESPOIR programme, the BeniBiz and ProCIVA projects are helping to strengthen Benin's economy and to achieve sustainable, inclusive economic growth.
"Before taking part in BeniBiz, I felt totally demotivated. But now I realise I can make headway." Lucie, who has 42 years' experience as a dressmaker, designer and stylist, received support and follow-up over a three-month period, which enabled her to double her income.
In 2019, Parfaite Houenagnon, who runs a business in northern Benin, received the BeniBiz Best Female Entrepreneur Award. She received support over a four-month period, which enabled her to achieve a 298% increase in sale.
Switzerland's ESPOIR programme empowers women and young people especially by promoting an entrepreneurial culture and contributing to a strong and diversified private sector.
Joining forces to tackle air pollution and climate change
Swiss cheese fills holes in Georgia's job market
The SASC welcomed the first intake of 15 students in 2021. They will complete a two-year course of study in dairy and cheese processing, handling livestock and food safety according to Swiss standards.
Independent evaluation confirms good results in Indonesia
Switzerland is mitigating the impact of COVID-19 around the world
Vocational training against youth unemployment in North Macedonia
In 2018, Switzerland launched the project Education for Employment. It supports the Ministry of Education and Science in reforming the vocational education and training system in close cooperation with the private sector so that young people can acquire the skills needed by the economy.
Now, the private sector is actively involved in the development of formal curricula for vocational education in North Macedonia. Companies offer practical trainings for dual education, enabling students to learn required skills on the job.
Following a pilot phase with 100 students in 10 classes in 2020, the dual vocational education was scaled-up nationwide in North Macedonia. In 2021, 1,384 students enrolled in 97 dual education classes and the interest continues to grow.