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OECD says Swiss aid policy lacks coherence

Switzerland is facing calls to increase its contributions to development aid, as well as to improve its aid strategy and coordination.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said that the country should aim for 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI), despite the difficult economic situation and financial concerns by the government.

In 2008 Swiss development aid reached 0.42 per cent of GNI.

The OECD said that Swiss aid was dispersed among too many countries and sectors. In its efforts to strengthen its focus, the country should confirm that the primary goal is poverty reduction, including equitable and sustainable development, added the organisation.

However, the OECD also praised the government, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco), as exemplary.

"Switzerland has a long tradition of international assistance; its aid to humanitarian causes and multilateral donors serves as lessons in good practice," the OECD said in a statement on Monday.

SDC director Martin Dahinden said the necessary steps were underway to reposition Swiss development aid.

He said that he was confident that the OECD review would help convince the government to increase aid payments by 2015, in line with a decision by parliament.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch


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