Swiss official development assistance remained stable in 2019

Press release, 16.04.2020

Switzerland allocated CHF 3.074 billion to official development assistance (ODA) in 2019, CHF 42 million more than in the previous year. As a share of gross national income (GNI), Swiss ODA remains stable at 0.44%.

The ODA/GNI ratio of 0.44% is below the 0.48% average estimated for the period of the Dispatch on Switzerland's International Cooperation 2017–20 and below the 0.5% target set by Parliament in 2011. This is mainly due to lower asylum-related costs included in ODA reporting and cost-cutting measures in Switzerland's international cooperation credit lines adopted by the Federal Council and Parliament in 2016 and 2017.

Certain costs relating to assisting refugees, asylum seekers and people temporarily admitted into Switzerland are included in ODA reporting. In 2019, these costs amounted to CHF 284 million, representing 9% of total ODA. Not including these asylum-related costs, Switzerland's ODA/GNI ratio was 0.4% in 2019, the same as in 2018.

Swiss international cooperation is mainly implemented by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the FDFA's Human Security Division (HSD), whose framework credits (excluding operating expenses) cover 70–75% of Swiss ODA. In addition to this spending on international cooperation, some spending by other federal offices also counts as ODA (including asylum-related costs), as do contributions by Swiss cantons and municipalities.

Through its international cooperation, Switzerland helps to reduce poverty and global challenges such as pandemics or climate change, promote peace and respect for human rights, and mitigate the causes of forced displacement and irregular migration. Switzerland also contributes to sustainable, environmentally-friendly development worldwide, in particular in terms of the sustainable management of natural resources. The Dispatch on Switzerland's Strategy for International Cooperation 2021–24 was adopted by the Federal Council on 19 February 2020. Based on available estimates, Switzerland will allocate around 0.46% of GNI to ODA in the period 2021–24.

ODA is calculated on the basis of guidelines issued by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This allows a statistical comparison of the international commitments of the 29 DAC member states in terms of their share of GNI spent on ODA.

According to the OECD press release, the amount of aid given in 2019 increased in18 DAC countries, including Switzerland, and fell in 11 countries. In 2019, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the United Kingdom reached the United Nation's 0.7% target of GNI to be spent on ODA. Switzerland ranked 8th in 2019 among OECD DAC donors.

Further information:

Swiss official development assistance
Statistics – facts and figures

Address for enquiries:

FDFA Communication
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Twitter: @SwissMFA


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