The political situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan is unstable and particular attention must be given to security. A weak state, corruption, impunity, large socio-economic disparities, frequent natural disasters as well as ethnic and religious conflict heighten instability and burden the local population on a large scale. An increase in religious radicalisation has also been observed.
Switzerland advocates for good governance, respect for human rights and the improvement of living conditions for disadvantaged communities, particularly in rural areas. The SDC endeavours to contribute to sustainable poverty reduction and to secure a favourable development environment as integral to the poverty reduction strategies of governments and the UN Millenium Development Goals.
The SDC works both through various implementing partners and directly with local communities. Implementing partners are national, regional and local authorities, international organisations such as the UN and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), other donor countries as well as local or international non-governmental organisations.