Rapid Response Fund
In 2023, the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea and arriving in Italy has increased, mainly through the Central Mediterranean route (Tunisia, Libya). Other arrivals have been recorded also through the Eastern Mediterranean route (Türkiye) and the Balkan route (Slovenia). In order to facilitate communication between migrants, police and immigration offices, the Italian authorities work together with cultural mediators from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Switzerland finances the deployment of cultural mediators in August and September 2023 with 500 000 Swiss francs from the Rapid Response Fund of the Second Swiss Contribution. In September, it was decided to extend the funding for one month with additional 227 000 Swiss francs. In October, a no-cost-extension was approved to ensure that the activities can be continued in a reduced form with the remaining funds from the Second Swiss Contribution and IOM's own funds during the month of November. This support has been facilitated through the EU solidarity mechanism linked to the Migration and Asylum Pact.