Switzerland contributing to ICRC’s financial stability

Bern, 30.08.2023 - At its meeting on 30 August 2023, the Federal Council responded to an urgent request for financial support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). In order to stabilise the ICRC's finances, the Federal Council proposes to make a one-off contribution of CHF 50 million and to facilitate the repayment of its COVID-19 loan. In return, the Confederation expects the ICRC to take measures to ensure that it achieves and maintains financial equilibrium.

The ICRC is experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the many challenges it faces. A record number of people in humanitarian need as a result of the many crises around the world, a marked increase in costs due to inflation and a significant reduction in financial contributions have led it to appeal to its main donors, including Switzerland, for help.

The ICRC is Switzerland's main partner in the humanitarian field, particularly in regions where access to humanitarian aid is difficult. It is actively involved in helping civilian victims of conflict and violence throughout the world. It is a strong proponent of the humanitarian values to which Switzerland is particularly committed.

In order to support the ICRC financially, the Federal Council has decided to submit a one-off additional credit of CHF 50 million to the Federal Assembly this year. The Federal Council has also decided to make the repayment terms of the COVID-19 loan more flexible by extending its term from four to eight years. This interest-free loan of CHF 200 million, granted to the ICRC on 30 April 2020, was intended to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, particularly in developing countries.

The aim of these decisions is to stabilise the ICRC financially so that it can fulfil its mandate. The Confederation expects the ICRC to take measures to ensure that it achieves and maintains financial equilibrium as soon as possible.

These contributions come on top of Switzerland's annual financial contribution of CHF 80 million to the ICRC's headquarters in Geneva and its additional contributions to ICRC operations in the field, which amount to over CHF 60 million in 2023.

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