Aid increase rejected in parliament

The House of Representatives has turned down a proposal to gradually boost development aid from 0.37 per cent to 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product.

This content was published on June 10, 2008 - 10:43

Three years ago the government said it had no plans to meet the United Nations target of a spending increase by 2015 in line with global efforts to reduce poverty and improve health under the Millennium Development Goals.

The house on Tuesday approved SFr5.3 billion ($5.1 billion) for the aid agencies of the foreign and economic ministries over the next four years.

The decision, which has to be confirmed by the Senate, comes despite calls by centre-left political parties and a coalition of aid organisations, churches and trade unions for a higher financial commitment by the Swiss authorities.

The foreign ministry said it would reduce its aid activities to 14 countries by 2010.

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