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Private donations to Swiss Red Cross increase

Private businesses and foundations donated SFr18.3 million ($15.75 million) to the Swiss Red Cross in 2008, around SFr3 million more than in 2007.

But total private support for the organisation actually dropped on 2007, which was an exceptionally good year for donations, the agency said on Wednesday.

Total private contributions in 2008 amounted to SFr20.8 million, SFr3.3 million less than in 2007. Fewer donations from inheritances were responsible for the decline. Early figures for 2009 seem positive so far, the Swiss Red Cross said.

The money will help workers carry out projects both at home and abroad, where the agency has been heavily involved in reconstructing areas of southeast Asia ravaged by the tsunami. As those projects wind down, domestic projects are increasing, the organisation said.

The Swiss Red Cross is a member of the Geneva-based International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. It also backs the work of the Swiss-run International Committee of the Red Cross.

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