2020 annual report on Swiss international cooperation: a year dominated by COVID-19
The 2020 annual report on Swiss international cooperation has now been published. In 2020, activities focused on efforts to combat COVID-19. Switzerland responded swiftly to the crisis to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its social, economic and humanitarian consequences. Numerous programmes were adapted and additional funds were allocated. Through its international cooperation strategy, Switzerland makes a significant contribution to crisis management and sustainable development.
COVID-19 posed enormous challenges also for international cooperation in 2020. The pandemic is not just a health crisis. Its economic, financial and social consequences are aggravating the precarious situation in developing countries that are already affected by poverty, crises and need. Because a pandemic of this magnitude can only be tackled together, Switzerland responded quickly and unbureaucratically to the crisis, adapting numerous existing programmes and allocating additional funds to new global partnerships.
Never losing sight of long-term goals
Switzerland's international cooperation still faces challenges. The task now is to overcome the crisis, contribute to the economic recovery and not lose sight of long-term goals such as sustainability. Strengthening health systems, creating education and training opportunities, securing jobs, promoting SMEs and reinforcing the resilience of people and the economy will be more important than ever in the future.
In addition to fighting COVID-19, Switzerland made progress in implementing the goals of its international cooperation strategy. Numerous programmes in areas such as basic education and vocational training, good governance and economic development were taken forward successfully. These programmes help to improve prospects at local level and strengthen countries' resilience in the face of crises and disasters.
Through its international cooperation strategy, Switzerland is making a significant contribution to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and to sustainable development.