The government has earmarked more than CHF130 million ($126 million) to reducing hunger in the world and to assist Palestinian refugees.
The Global Agricultural Research Partnership, which aims to enable hundreds of millions of people to escape poverty and avoid chronic hunger, will continue to funded by Switzerland with CH50.4 million over the next three years, according to a foreign ministry statement on Wednesday.
The research programme conserves the world’s largest collections of cultivated plants in a bid to preserve genetic resources for future generations. It also facilitates cooperation between smallholder farms and local processing industry in several countries.
The cabinet also decided to maintain its contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) with CHF20 million per year until 2020.
The foreign ministry said the funds are primarily intended to help improve access of Palestinan refugees to education, healthcare and social services.
“In this way Switzerland helps to improve prospects for the future, to reduce the risk of radicalisation among young Palestinians, and to support greater stability in the region,” a statement said.
Since its establishment in 1949, UNRWA has been one of Switzerland’s main multilateral partners in the Middle East.
Pierre Krähenbühl, UNRWA general commissioner since 2014, is Switzerland’s highest ranking UN official.