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Swiss expats given emergency Covid-19 aid

Workers prepare social distancing on a beach in Benidorm in June. The Swiss government has paid welfare to 12 Swiss citizens living in Spain. Keystone

The government has provided financial assistance to 56 Swiss citizens living abroad who are struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This content was published on November 5, 2020 - 15:49
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The foreign ministry confirmed a reportExternal link in the newspaper Blick on Thursday. Welfare was paid to Swiss Abroad in 16 cases in Europe, 12 of them in Spain. There were 14 cases in Asia, ten in South America, nine in Africa and seven in North America.

In each case the money was based on the specific situation of the individual. A total of around CHF60,000 ($66,000) has so far been spent on emergency Covid-19 aid for the Swiss Abroad.

Social welfare payments to the Swiss Abroad amounted to around CHF900,000 last year, excluding coronavirus-related assistance.

The reasons for emergency Covid-19 aid included loss of jobs, business closures or reduced income below subsistence level. Support had also been provided for those working in the tourism sector who couldn’t earn enough money.

If the Covid-19 pandemic continues, an increase in the number of requests for support must be expected, the government said. Almost 800,000 Swiss citizens live abroad.

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