CHF 67 million committed to the Slovak Republic

Article, 06.01.2014

Training, Roma integration, help for the homeless, conservation of ecosystems, waste-water management... With a budget of CHF 67 million, Switzerland is active in a number of areas in the Slovak Republic. On the occasion of the official visit to Switzerland of the Slovak minister of foreign affairs, Miroslav Lajčák, on 9 January 2014, below are some examples of ongoing projects.

The visit of the Slovak minister of foreign affairs on 9 January 2014 is an opportunity for the SDC to highlight the cooperation projects supported by Switzerland in Slovakia.

Through its enlargement contribution, to which the SDC and SECO both contribute, Switzerland is helping to reduce economic and social disparities in the enlarged European Union. In total, 210 projects are to be realised across the EU10 with a global Swiss contribution of CHF 950 million. A further CHF 257 million has been made available to Bulgaria and Romania.

In all, Swiss aid to the Slovak Republic amounts to CHF 67 million. Almost 40% of this sum is allocated to eastern Slovakia (Prešov and Košice). Indeed, the development indicators in this region are the lowest in the country, with per capita GDP barely reaching 35% of the EU average.

Below are five examples of projects supported by Switzerland:

An apprentice operating a machin
Switzerland supports apprenticeships in the Slovak Republic. © SDC

Setting up a dual training system for vocational education and training

The goal of this project is to reform Slovakia's vocational education and training (VET) system and to adapt VET programmes to fit demand in the labour market. Switzerland serves as a model in that respect with its extensive experience of the dual vocational education system, combining practical training in the workplace with study at vocational schools, and is thus able to play an important part in the ongoing reforms. Amount contributed by Switzerland: CHF 3.89 million.

Project description (PDF, Number of pages 2, 906.5 kB, English)

Three Roma children in Slovakia
The municipal project centres offer courses to children, youth and adults. © SDC

Guaranteeing better living conditions for the Roma people

The integration of Roma in society is a major challenge in Slovakia. Disadvantaged in comparison with the rest of the population, they live in poorly built housing which is often dilapidated and barely have any access at all to education and health care. This project aims to improve their way of life. Amount contributed by Switzerland: CHF 1,410,000.

A homeless man having a meal in Bratislava
Every night, more than 150 people come to the St Vincent de Paul hostel for the homeless. © SDC

Ensuring the homeless can live their lives in dignity

Switzerland supports a project to help the homeless in Bratislava through the NGO Depaul Slovensko. This project aims to improve the quality of life of people living on the margins of society, who often suffer from a dependence on drugs or alcohol. The project includes a hostel for the homeless, a day centre and two residences. The services provided are available to all who need them, unconditionally. Amount contributed by Switzerland: CHF 170,000

A man analysing a map on a computer screen
To assess the state of a forest, complex data are required that can only be obtained using modern instruments for measurement. © SDC

Preserving endangered ecosystems

Switzerland funds two projects to preserve biodiversity in Slovakia, both aimed at protecting endangered ecosystems. One of the projects aims to improve the study and analysis of forests; the other aims to protect species and natural habitats in the Slovakian Carpathians. The Swiss contribution to these two projects amounts to approximately CHF 4.2 million.

Project description (PDF, Number of pages 2, 308.0 kB, English)

A canal
Switzerland supports a total of six projects in Slovakia in the area of waste-water treatment. © SECO

Installing sewage pipes in remote areas

In Slovakia, only around 60% of households are connected to the sewer network. Switzerland is supporting the municipality of Dlhé nad Cirochou in the east of the country with the installation of 4.8km of sewage pipes. Once the project is completed, more than 1,800 residents will be connected to the sewerage system. The capacity of the existing water-treatment facilities will be almost doubled by 2016. Amount contributed by Switzerland: CHF 2.8 million.

Project description (PDF, Number of pages 2, 335.0 kB)