Switzerland provides humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka and renews its appeals for compliance with international law

Bern, Press release, 30.04.2009

In light of the dramatic situation in the north of Sri Lanka, the FDFA is providing emergency humanitarian aid and continues to insist on compliance with international humanitarian law. The victims of the conflict must be protected and helped, and access by humanitarian actors must be guaranteed.

In addition to its annual budget of CHF 6.5 million allocated to Sri Lanka, Switzerland will now provide additional emergency aid of CHF 1 million for the civilian population affected by the conflict in the north of the country. This aid will be used to co-finance programmes run by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme (WFP).  

The Sri Lankan ministry of health has also received a contribution of CHF 200,000 in the form of medicines, and CHF 200,000 has been allocated to the NGO World Concern for medical care of civilian victims of the conflict. Two experts from the Swiss  Humanitarian Aid corps have been seconded to the UNHCR and the WFP. This aid comes on top of the contributions that Switzerland is planning to make in 2009 for  reconstruction, development, human security, conflict resolution and the promotion of peace in Sri Lanka.  

The situation of tens of thousands of internally displaced persons who are forced to remain in the combat zone is disastrous, and the plight of displaced persons in transit zones and in closed internment camps is also very worrying. Switzerland renews its appeal to all parties to comply with international humanitarian law. The last appeal by the FDFA dates back to 21 April and remains valid.   

Switzerland also appeals for cooperation between Sri Lanka and the international community. It is essential that humanitarian actors should be able to provide support to vulnerable populations in the north of Sri Lanka rapidly and without hindrance. 

Further Information: Press and Information Service FDFA, Tel. 031 322 31 53

Further information:

Sri Lanka

Address for enquiries:

Press and Information Service
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: (+41) 031 322 31 53
Fax: (+41) 031 324 90 47
E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs