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Pakistan may make Swiss priority list

Swiss officials are reconsidering how much development aid they should set aside for Pakistan in light of the floods that have destroyed large swaths of the country.

Foreign ministry spokesman Georg Farago said on Monday that authorities were “currently analysing the form of future development”.

In August 2008 the government decided to reduce the number of countries it focused heavily on for development projects from 17 to 12. Pakistan was among those nations where projects would be scaled back. It had been on the priority list for 40 years.

According to the website of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), “a few elements” of the outgoing programmes are to be included in a new programme that will focus on development aid near Pakistan’s northern border areas. Parliament has approved a SFr5 million ($4.81 million) budget for those efforts.

Humanitarian aid is a separate issue and not affected by the reduction plan. Originally the SDC had set aside SFr6.7 million for Pakistan. The Swiss government released another SFr4 million in emergency aid following the disaster, which the United Nations says has affected more than three million people and left more than 1,600 dead. and agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR