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Swiss Solidarity reports "huge success"

Swiss President Samuel Schmid also manned the telephone line to receive pledges Keystone

The Swiss Solidarity foundation was pledged SFr15.2 million ($12.1 million) in a nationwide day of fundraising for victims of last week's flooding.

This content was published on September 1, 2005 - 09:08

The foundation, which is the fundraising arm of swissinfo's parent company, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, said about SFr24 million had now been raised over the past ten days.

In a statement, Swiss Solidarity said the fundraising day on Wednesday was one of the most successful ever held for natural catastrophes in Switzerland.

It said past experience had shown that donations would increase in the coming weeks.

Roland Jeanneret, head of the foundation's communications, said the generosity of people had not surprised him and he was enthusiastic that his expectations had been fulfilled.

The aid, which has been provided from the first day of the flooding, will benefit individuals, cooperatives, corporations, small family businesses and financially weak communities.

Swiss Solidarity said that there would be three types of aid : urgent aid for immediate clothing and food needs, transitory aid to help out with rehousing and furniture as well as funding for damage which is not covered by insurances.

The smallest donations of SFr4 to SFr5 came from children in various parts of the country. There were three pledges of SFr1 million from large companies.

More than 500 volunteers received pledges during 18 hours on 100 telephone lines that rang almost continuously.

In several fundraising centres, prominent people, including this year's Swiss president, Samuel Schmid, the economics minister, Joseph Deiss, and "Mr Switzerland", Renzo Blumenthal, manned the lines.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Swiss Solidarity held a national fundraising day on August 31 for those affected by last week's flooding in central Switzerland and the Bernese Alps.
It brought in pledges of SFr15.2 over the 18 hours that telephone lines were manned.
A total of SFr24 million has now been pledged or already donated.
Pledges can by made via the Swiss Solidarity website or through the post office account 10-15000-6.

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In brief

Swiss Solidarity was created in 1946 by three employees of Swiss public radio.

It is the fundraising arm of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, the parent company of swissinfo.

It is not a charity, but serves to collects funds which are then distributed to charitable organisations.

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