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Parliament supports budget for development aid

The development aid budget outlined by the cabinet for 2011 and 2012 will be implemented, after the House of Representatives decided not to fight for a cut.

On Tuesday the House voted 97 to 79 in favour of maintaining the level of support recommended by the cabinet. Five representatives abstained.

The cabinet is calling for a credit of SFr640 million ($665 million) to be set aside for aid. The House had wanted to budget SFr134 million less than that.

Originally, the House did not approve of the cabinet’s goal of raising development aid to 0.5 per cent of Switzerland’s gross national product by 2015.

However, after the Senate agreed to the proposed budget last week, it slowly withdrew its opposition.

Switzerland currently spends 0.47 per cent of GNP on development aid. The OECD average is 0.48 per cent. and agencies

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