Mandate of Swiss Humanitarian Aid: saving lives

Through prevention and rescue measures, Swiss Humanitarian Aid aims to contribute to safeguarding the lives of endangered people and to alleviating suffering. At the multilateral level, it works to create a more effective international system for responding to crises.

Switzerland humanitarian action is based on the Federal Act of 1976 on International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid and, for the 2017-2020 period, on the Federal Council's dispatch to Parliament on international cooperation. Moreover to prevent risks linked to natural disasters, Swiss Humanitarian Aid helps partner countries put rapid response mechanisms in place. It helps victims in the event of crises or armed conflict and advocates specifically for unlimited access to population groups in need, and for their protection.

True commitment to international humanitarian law

Switzerland's engagement aims in particular to convey the spirit of international humanitarian law and its fundamental principles. In all its programmes and activities, Swiss Humanitarian Aid respects the principle of the equality of women and men, and takes into account dimensions linked to respect for human rights, the environment and good governance. All victims of crises receive assistance without distinction based on race, gender, language, religion, political opinion or membership of a particular social group.

At the multilateral level, Swiss Humanitarian Aid works to create a more effective international system for responding to humanitarian crises. The double support – financial and operational – the SDC offers its multilateral partners, together with the specific actions that the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit carries out on the ground, have made Switzerland a credible, respected and influential partner in humanitarian affairs.