Swiss official development assistance: 0.44% of gross national income spent in 2018

Bern, 10.04.2019 - In 2018, Switzerland spent 0.44% of its gross national income (GNI) on official development assistance (ODA), only slightly lower than 2017 (0.46%). This is due to an increase in GNI, fewer asylum-related costs included in ODA, and cost-cutting measures adopted by Parliament.

In 2018, Switzerland's ODA amounted to 0.44% of its GNI. After meeting Parliament's goal of 0.5% in 2015 and 2016, Swiss ODA fell to 0.46% in 2017 – which means that it is now below target for the second year running. With 0.44% GNI spent on ODA, Switzerland falls below the European Union average (0.47%). This is due to a combination of factors: a rise in GNI, lower asylum-related costs, and Parliament’s cost-cutting measures in Switzerland's international cooperation credit lines. In 2018, Switzerland spent CHF 3.022 billion on ODA – CHF 68 million less than in 2017.

Costs included in Swiss ODA relating to assisting refugees, asylum seekers and people temporarily admitted into Switzerland totalled CHF 276 million – CHF 49 million less than in 2017. This was because there were fewer new asylum applications in 2018. These costs amounted to 9% of total ODA in 2018 (11% in 2017). Not including asylum-related costs, Switzerland's ODA-GNI ratio was 0.4% in 2018 (compared to 0.41% in 2017).

Switzerland's credit lines for international cooperation represent more than 80% of its ODA. It uses these funds to help reduce poverty and global risks, promote peace and respect for human rights, and mitigate the causes of forced displacement and irregular migration. Switzerland also contributes to sustainable, environmentally-friendly development worldwide, particularly in terms of sustainable resource management, and will continue its commitment to these goals. The Federal Council's new dispatch on international cooperation for 2021-24 is currently being drafted.

ODA is calculated on the basis of guidelines issued by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This allows a statistical comparison of the international commitments of the 29 DAC member states in terms of their percentage of GNI spent on ODA.

According to an OECD press release, in 2018 the amount of aid increased in 17 DAC countries but fell in 12 others, including Switzerland. In 2018, Sweden, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark and the United Kingdom reached the United Nation's 0.7% target of GNI to be spent on ODA. Switzerland ranked 8th in the international ratings for 2018.

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