The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) provides humanitarian aid and longer-term development cooperation in the South and East. Its aims is pursued both through direct cooperation with the individual countries and with international organizations like the United Nations.
Facts and figures
Provided by the public sector;
Administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as the main objective;
Concessional (grants and concessional loans).
The Official Development Assistance (ODA) is defined on the international level as Foreign aid in the form of grants or concessional loans from public sector to developing countries and territories as well as contributions to multilateral development institutions (such as the UN). In order to be qualified as ODA, funds must be:
The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) introduced the concept of ODA in 1969 and refined its definition in 1972. ODA is the key indicator for the vast majority of development goals and for measuring development efforts. With its Resolution 2626 from 1970, the UN imposed a target for all developed countries to commit 0.7% of their gross national income (GNI) to ODA. This target was reaffirmed several times in subsequent joint declarations on development financing (Monterrey in 2001, Doha in 2008, Rio in 2012, Addis Ababa in 2015).
The Strategy on Switzerland's International Cooperation 2021–2024, approved by the Federal Council and Parliament, lays down the general guidelines for Switzerland's ODA. The legislative basis is provided in the Federal Act on International Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid and the Federal Act on Cooperation with the States of Eastern Europe.
The main federal government entities involved are the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). However, other federal offices as well as the cantons and some 200 communes also contribute to Switzerland's international cooperation. The reported ODA figure comprises the sum of all ODA-eligible contributions (see question 4) from these stakeholders.
ODA is calculated according to the OECD's internationally agreed guidelines. The OECD body responsible for these is the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). These guidelines provide a framework for comparing the 30 DAC members (29 countries and the European Union) and ensure transparency. Switzerland is a member of the DAC's Working Party on Development Finance Statistics (WP-STAT), regularly attends its meetings and thus participates in the formulation and further development of comprehensive statistical guidelines. These guidelines set out the activities and contributions on the basis of the previous year's actual ODA-eligible spending (ex-post). The payments made by the different donor countries are compared by way of their ODA/GNI ratio, i.e. the percentage of net ODA with respect to their GNI.
No. While the bulk of the SDC's spending comprises funds that qualify as ODA, some financing (e.g. Switzerland's contributions to EU enlargement) cannot be reported as ODA under the OECD's guidelines. Numerous other federal offices also contribute to Switzerland's ODA, in particular the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) and the FDFA's Peace and Human Rights Division (PHRD). It is therefore incorrect to equate ODA with the SDC's spending.