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Most Swiss back development aid

A majority of the Swiss population views development assistance as an effective strategy in combating worldwide poverty and tackling development problems.

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swiss Alliance of Development Organizations (Alliance Sud) on Thursday published the results of a nationwide survey, adding that urgent action was necessary in the areas of enhancing fair trade and addressing global issues.

Despite the economic slump, solidarity with populations living in regions marked by poverty had not suffered a decline, it found.

Fifty-three per cent of those interviewed were in favour of maintaining the current level of assistance, with 30 per cent endorsing an increase.

In 2008 Swiss development aid reached 0.42 per cent of Gross National Income.

The survey revealed that those under 30 believed it a top priority of private and public development cooperation to address global issues such as climate change.

The survey also revealed a dwindling awareness of the issues. Today’s Swiss are less well informed on North-South issues than five years ago.

Since 1985, every four to five years the SDC and Alliance Sud sound out the Swiss population on various aspects of development policy.

The results of the latest “development monitor” are based on a survey of 1,205 voters throughout Switzerland conducted by the public opinion research institute gfs.bern and took place in August 2009.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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