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SDC's goal is to improve the living conditions of the most underprivileged people in the world. It aims to alleviate poverty by helping people help themselves. SDC's development activities focus on promoting economic and government autonomy, helping to solve environmental problems and providing better access to education, basic health care for the most disadvantaged population and groups. SDC also supports onsite emergency and survival aid, providing immediate assistance in the wake of natural disasters. SDC is actively involved in approximately one thousand projects. Cooperation is particularly focused on 24 countries of the South and 11 countries in the East.
Switzerland is one of the long-standing development partners of Bangladesh. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), a part of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, has been working in Bangladesh since its independence. SDC considers Bangladesh as one of its priority countries to concentrate its long-term development cooperation efforts.
SDC has a substantial programme in Bangladesh with an aim to achieve an effective and sustainable poverty reduction in this country. During the last few years' work, SDC felt that Bangladesh has made huge progress in the previous few decades, notably in population control, food security, child mortality, malnutrition and access to education. However, poverty reduction remains a major challenge.
The SDC Cooperation Strategy Bangladesh 2008-2012 addresses two major challenges: governance and the increasing gap between rich and poor which implies a growing number of extreme poor in the country.
The Cooperation Strategy focuses on the two thematic areas
- Employment and Income Generation
- Local Governance
Both thematic areas and the lines of action are aligned with the Bangladesh Government's Poverty Reduction Strategy. In addition to support of national level projects, the programme has a geographic focus in two low-income and under-served rural areas, i.e. Rajshahi & Sunamganj. In general, SDC is guided by the terms of the Paris Declaration to secure ownership for the joint endeavors among the national partners and to achieve a well coordinated, efficient cooperation with other donor agencies. Cooperation with other bi- and multilateral (likeminded) donors is an important way for becoming involved in the policy dialogue and for scaling up successful approaches.