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Swiss dig deeper for charity

Swiss donations helped victims of the 1999 Turkish earthquake Keystone

The Swiss gave record sums to charity in 1999, according to new statistics from the body responsible for co-ordinating donations.

The Central bureau for charitable works said SFr1.2 billion was collected for a variety of good causes, SFr200 million more than the previous year, and almost double what was given ten years ago.

Between 1998 and 1999 there was a 14 per cent rise in donations to charities working in Switzerland, and an increase of just under 9 per cent to those helping people abroad. The biggest winner was the Solidarity Chain, a charity organised by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation.

The Solidarity Chain collected around SFr90 million. But only a third of smaller charities benefited from the rise in donations.

While almost half the donations came from individuals, charitable contributions from the authorities dropped by 3 per cent, to only 32 per cent of the total.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR