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Cabinet agrees to boost development aid

The government has agreed to calls by parliament for a slight increase in development aid to 0.5 per cent of Gross national Income (GNI) by 2015.

The foreign ministry said a bill would be prepared for an additional SFr404 million ($369 million) for the next two years.

The funds would be used mainly for climate and water cooperation projects.

Parliament is expected to discuss the issue in the winter session.

Initially the cabinet refused to increase aid because of financial constraints and planned spending cuts.

Last year, Switzerland spent 0.47 per cent of GNI on development aid – 0.1 per cent below the average rate of other industrialised countries. and agencies

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