Charity Swiss Solidarity supported 175 projects to the tune of CHF46.6 million ($50 million) last year. Most of it went towards Syrian as well as other refugees.
In 2014 the Swiss population donated CHF22 million to people in need, according to Swiss Solidarity’s annual reportexternal link, released on Wednesday. Most of that cash was collected specifically for victims of conflicts in the Middle East (CHF5 million) and flooding victims in the Balkans (CHF5 million).
Swiss Solidarity is the fundraising arm of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, the parent company of swissinfo.ch. Its operating budget is about CHF3.5 million; last year it posted a surplus of CHF900,000.
This budget allowed it to fund 175 projects both in Switzerland and abroad. While most of the relief efforts focused on conflicts and natural disasters, nearly CHF3 million went towards Swiss victims of forced welfare measures – with some 400 people receiving a one-time average payment of about CHF8,000.
The report also reflects on relief efforts that began after a tsunami devastated Southeast Asia a decade ago. Swiss Solidarity has engaged a number of independent experts to evaluate humanitarian assistance there and also in Haiti, which was ravaged by an earthquake in 2010.
“The foundation expects to draw lessons to improve our intervention on the ground,” said Swiss Solidarity’s director, Tony Burgener. “In the interests of transparency, for the benefit of donors and beneficiaries, the two reports were published in their entirety.”