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Swiss aid marked by natural disasters

The amount of Swiss official development assistance rose in 2010 to SFr2.4 billion ($2.88 billion), or 0.41 per cent of gross domestic product.

This was below the average for OECD countries (0.49 per cent), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) said in their joint annual report published on Monday.

Major humanitarian disasters in 2010 resulted in 295,000 victims and damage estimated at $130 billion. The SDC and Seco said Switzerland was able to react quickly to these challenges in a rapid, targeted and coordinated manner.

Assistance and bilateral cooperation focus on a number of priority countries in Africa – including in the Mediterranean area – as well as Asia, Latin America and eastern Europe.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR