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Helping hand


Swiss donations for Syrian crisis swell to CHF20 million


The Swiss public has donated CHF20 million ($20.5 million) inside a month towards helping the victims of war-torn countries. The charity Swiss Solidarity said this was the most raised in such a short period since the 1999 Kosovo crisis.

The current charity campaign, which has been running since the end of August, was notable for raising CHF7 million in just one day during a National Day of Solidarity for Refugees.

Most of the funds will go towards projects to ease conditions for refugees in Syria, its neighbouring countries, and those states that are situated on the much-travelled refugee route through the Balkans towards Western Europe.

Swiss Solidarity said it has raised some CHF23 million directly for the Syrian crisis since 2012. “No other country in the world has shown such generosity towards refugees,” said the charity’s director Tony Burgener.

Swiss Solidarity is the fundraising arm of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, the parent company of swissinfo.ch. Last year it supported 175 projects to the tune of CHF46.6 million.

The news of the Swiss public’s largesse came as Syria’s four-year civil reached new levels of volatility with Russia launching air strikes within the Middle Eastern country.

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter called for member states to hold regular meetings aimed at strengthening international humanitarian law.

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