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Swiss set aside CHF100 million in Ukraine development funding

The Ukrainian funds available to the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for 2022 will not affect projects elsewhere, an official said on Thursday.

Before the Russian invasion in February, the SDC had earmarked CHF25 million ($26 million) for development and cooperation projects in Ukraine; parliament has since boosted this by CHF61 million, SDC director Patricia Danzi said on Thursday.

On top of this, various other ministries have sent development aid to the region directly or indirectly, the Keystone-SDA news agency reports: Swiss migration authorities contributed CHF6 million to help refugees in Poland, while the economics ministry has given CHF20 million to multilateral projects coordinated by the World Bank.

As for the SDC, Danzi said that the extra credit allocated by parliament means the agency can boost its projects in Ukraine while not being forced to pull out of other areas of the world – many of which are suffering the consequences of the conflict in Europe, for example via the threatened food shortages in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the SDC websiteExternal link, the four priority areas for Swiss development cooperation in Ukraine for the 2020-2023 period are local governance and peacebuilding, sustainable economic development, health issues, and providing humanitarian aid.

Humanitarian needs

Since the outbreak of war, however, the elements within these priorities are being “adapted to the new circumstances”, while humanitarian aid has become more present, with the Swiss sending supplies as well as providing financial support to humanitarian organisations working on Ukraine.

In March, the government also announced a CHF80 million humanitarian aid package for Ukraine.

Switzerland will also host next month in the southern city of Lugano the international “Ukraine Recovery ConferenceExternal link” (renamed from the previously planned “Reform Conference”), where diplomats and politicians will discuss “Ukraine’s reconstruction and development programme and on contributions from international partners”.

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