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Switzerland helps Indian reconstruction efforts

Soldiers clear rubble from the site of the Indian earthquake

(Keystone Archive)

Switzerland has announced aid of SFr1 million ($590,000) to the Indian state of Gujarat, which was hit by a massive earthquake last month. The money is to be used to restore damaged infrastructure in the affected areas.

The Swiss government's international development aid agency (Deza) said on Friday the aim was to improve living conditions for local people.

The promised aid is in addition to SFr500,000 donated by Deza in January to help with the immediate aftermath of the disaster, which left a confirmed death toll of 18,000.

The latest funds are to be spent on projects run jointly with non-governmental organisations active in Gujarat. Deza said care would be taken to ensure that the most needy members of the population benefited first.

The aid agency also announced plans for longer-term assistance to Gujarat, including sponsorship of agricultural and environmental projects. SFr2 million has been set aside for those purposes.

Deza has been supporting development and humanitarian projects in India since the 1960s.

swissinfo with agencies


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