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Foreign aid contributions down in 2010

Switzerland allocated SFr2.4 billion ($2.73 billion) for development aid last year, SFr100 million less than in 2009.

This was 0.41 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), down 0.04 per cent on the previous year.

The main government office responsible for aid, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), spent a little more last year on projects in poor and developing countries (SFr1.5 billion total).

However, contributions made by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs declined by SFr140 million to SFr248 million. This was mainly due to less money allocated for debt relief measures.

Since 2004, the percentage of Swiss state funds set aside for development aid has hovered around 0.4 per cent of GDP.

A decision by parliament in 2008 to up the annual percentage to 0.5 per cent has been delayed due to the economic crisis.

In March, parliament gave the go ahead to phase in the increase over the next four years.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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