Message on countries of the South 2009 - 2012: Unified Swiss development cooperation strategy

from Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
Published on 30 Jan 2009 View Original
With its Message on the Continuation of Technical Cooperation and Financial Aid for Developing Countries 2009 - 2012, the Federal Council presented a unified strategy for the Swiss Government's development cooperation as a whole.

By means of this Message, the Federal Council gears Swiss development cooperation to three priorities:

- reducing poverty;

- reducing security risks;

- co-shaping a form of globalization that promotes development.

Four-and-a-half billion Swiss francs have been allocated for this work for the period 2009-2012.

Switzerland's international cooperation is committed to a more equitable and safer world without poverty. It is inspired by a sense of solidarity, judicious self-interest and the conviction that global problems can be solved only if each and every country makes its contribution. Worldwide poverty and increasingly acute social polarisation, hunger and a lack of food security, general insecurity, failing states and uncontrolled migration, as well as climate change, are problems that cannot be solved by countries acting alone.

The Swiss government's new, unified development cooperation strategy features the following innovations:

Unified strategy:

This unified strategy applies not just to the SDC but also constitutes the strategic foundation for SECO's work. It comprises three strategic priorities (see above)

Geographical focus:

Fewer priority countries: From 1 January 2012, the SDC will focus on 12 priority countries/regions (Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chad, Mozambique, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Nepal, the Mekong Region, Bolivia and Central America). From the same date, Bhutan, Ecuador, India, Pakistan and Peru will no longer be priority countries.

Reduced special programme: From 1 January 2012, the SDC will focus on six special programmes (Great Lakes Region, Southern Africa, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Palestine, Cuba). From the same date, the North Korea special programme will be discontinued.

Thematic focus:

On the basis of its 2005/2006 portfolio analysis, the SDC has reduced the number of focal themes to ten. In priority countries, the SDC concentrates on a maximum of three themes, and in special programmes on two.


Development policy strategy sets out clear goals and the results expected from each task block. Achievement of these goals is monitored by means of indicators, and regular "progress reports" are submitted to Parliament.

Task blocks:

Swiss development cooperation tasks are subdivided into six cooperation fields (1. Support for poverty reduction in priority countries; 2. Support for selected regions with fragile states, conflicts and security risks; 3. Switzerland's contribution to co-shaping a form of globalization that promotes development; 4. Financial participation in multilateral development organizations and an active role in their executive and supervisory bodies; 5.Cooperation with relief agencies and research institutions and with public-private development partnerships in Switzerland; 6. Coordination of development policy in the federal administration.)