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Paying it forward

Swiss charities raised CHF1.8 billion last year

Swiss charities that are considered to be responsible and transparent in their operations raised a total of CHF 1.8 billion ($1.9 billion) in 2015, a foundation said on Thursday.

The Zurich-based Zewo Foundation, which monitors charities and gives some of them a seal of approval, said the amount was CHF100 million more than in 2014.

Two-thirds came from households; the rest came from institutions, foundations, and societies. Swiss churches were particularly generous in 2015, donating CHF276 million to charitable organisations bearing the Zewo label.

Nearly a half billion francs of the donations flowed to Swiss humanitarian aid organisations working abroad.

Zewo’s director, Martina Ziegerer, attributed that trend to the global refugee crisis and the devastating earthquake and aftershock in Nepal last year that killed almost 9,000 people, injured 22,000, and damaged or destroyed nearly 800,000 homes.

More than one million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe mainly via the Mediterranean Sea, fuelling crisis and conflict within the European Union over how best to resettle the people.

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