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Switzerland contributes 70 million francs to 2007 ICRC headquarters budget

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The Federal Council today announced the contribution of 70 million Swiss francs to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). This contribution will go towards the support of various activities at the ICRC seat in Geneva (international law, human resources, finance and administration, communication and operational activities). This amount covers almost half of the ICRC's financial needs for its Geneva-based activities.

As a private and independent institution and one of the most important partners of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the ICRC has a close and continuous relationship with the Swiss federal government, in particular with regard to the development of humanitarian international law. It is the core business of the ICRC to provide neutral, non-partisan assistance and protection to the civilian and military victims of armed conflicts and internecine violence.

The ICRC is the most important partner of the Swiss government's humanitarian aid. Over the last two decades, the Swiss government has covered one third of the ICRC's funds. Furthermore, for many years Switzerland has made the largest contributions to the budget of the ICRC headquarters. Aside from these contributions, the Swiss government's humanitarian aid provides additional funds amounting to 30 million francs annually for emergency aid field interventions. In 2006, Swiss contributions to the ICRC totalled 97 million francs.