Increase in Swiss official development assistance

Bern, Press release, 17.09.2010

At today’s meeting, the Federal Council approved a dispatch to parliament in which it sets out how it will increase official development assistance (ODA) to 0.5% of the Gross National Product (GNP) by the year 2015. The additional funds are, in particular, to be injected into projects and programmes in the domain of water and the climate, thus enabling Switzerland to fulfil its multilateral commitments.

In approving this dispatch, the Federal Council is complying with the December 2008 mandate of parliament to submit a draft bill for increasing funds earmarked for development cooperation to 0.5% of GNP by 2015.  

In 2009, the Swiss contribution to official development cooperation amounted to 0.47% of GNP. This placed Switzerland slightly below the average of 0.48% contributed by the countries of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC). 

Poverty reduction remains the primary task of development cooperation worldwide, and therefore also lies at the core of the new dispatch. As a strongly globalized country, a stable and prosperous world is of pivotal importance for Switzerland. It is furthermore in Switzerland’s own interest to contribute to solving global problems such as climate change, uncontrolled migration, water scarcity, and economic instability. The additional funds represent, for the years 2011 and 2012, a total of CHF 404 million, which will be deployed both for bilateral and for multilateral cooperation.   

In the area of bilateral development cooperation, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) will utilize the additional funds by actively contributing to the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the domain of water and the climate. In these sectors, Switzerland can boast of an excellent, internationally recognized track record.  

On the multilateral level, the increase in monetary resources is to be channelled into the 12th replenishment of the African Development Fund (AfDF) to provide continued support for the Multilateral Debt Reduction Initiative (MDRI), as well as into the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Switzerland’s financial participation in these two institutions, just as its bilateral appropriations of funds, represents a part of its contribution to the support of measures to alleviate poverty (achievement of the MDGs) and to the prevention and management of global crises and coping with their consequences.  

The relevant parliamentary debates are scheduled for the 2010 winter session and/or the 2011 spring session.  

For further information, please contact: 

  • Jörg Frieden, Head of SDC Global Cooperation Department, tel. +41 31 322 34 76, e-mail: joerg.frieden@deza.admin
  • Beatrice Maser Mallor, Head of SECO Department for Economic Cooperation and Development, tel. +41 31 324 07 53, e-mail:

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: (+41) 031 322 31 53
Fax: (+41) 031 324 90 47


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research