Since 2011, Switzerland's main area of activity in Cuba has been municipal development. Switzerland supports the national municipal development policies in the areas of agriculture and accommodation.

© 2014 Natural Earth

Compared with other countries in the Caribbean and in Central America, the level of basic social services (health, education, social security)in Cuba is reasonably high. Nevertheless the country faces economic problems characterised by the existence of a dual currency and by dependence on imports of food. To overcome the crisis, the government is now involved in the process of de-centralising public services, of privatisation of certain economic activities and of municipalisation.

The SDC supports this process of updating of the socio-economic system. Its programs focus on improvement of municipal management, the aim being to ensure access to local agricultural products and the satisfaction of basic accommodation needs for the population.

Municipal management

Strengthening capacity

The SDC supports about 20 Cuban municipalities in the management and financing of local investment projects by participating in the development and implementation of municipal development strategies.

Upgrading local agricultural products

To improve the production, transformation and commercialisation of local agricultural products, the SDC supports the establishment of local agricultural innovation groups in 45 municipalities.The task of these committees is mainly to find ways of developing local markets

Agriculture and food security

Improving access to accommodation

In about 20 municipalities, theSDC is supporting the establishment of committees whose job will be to work out accommodations strategies and to find local solutions to accommodation problems.

History of cooperation

Primarily humanitarianactivity since 1997

The SDC has been present in Cuba since 1997, with a particular emphasis on humanitarian projects especially in the medical field. In 2000, the SDC established a Cooperation Office in Havana and started to develop a special cooperation programme. After an initial exploratory phase (2000–2003),the Swiss programme has developed along two main lines: local development and sustainable economic development. These main areas were implemented until 2011, together with the introduction of the transversal gender aspect. The present cooperation strategy (2011–2014) focuses on a single area of activity: municipal development.

Current projects

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Using biofuels to combat the energy crisis

Farmer Fernando in front of a fermenter tank for making biogas from slurry (district of Calimete, province of Matanzas)

01.04.2012 - 31.05.2017

The use of biofuels does not necessarily have a negative impact on food production and thus on food security. The two goals can be combined, as is shown in an SDC project in Cuba. In July 2012 in Guantánamo a plant started work which transforms jatropha seeds into biofuel. Thanks to the Swiss biomass project, six Cuban communes now benefit from cheaper, renewable and reliable energy.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Agriculture and Food Security
Mitigation of the effects of climate change
Agriculture value-chain development

01.04.2012 - 31.05.2017

CHF 5'715'000

Planned project

PADIT - Plataforma Articulada para el Desarrollo Integral de los Territorios

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2020

El proyecto PADIT (Plataforma Articulada para el Desarrollo Integral de los Territorios) se enmarca en el proceso de descentralización en curso en Cuba, fortaleciendo capacidades para la gestión del Desarrollo local y articulando los tres niveles de gobierno (municipio, provincia, nacional). Como parte de las estrategias de desarrollo municipal, PADIT apoya la implementación de programas y servicios sociales y actividades productivas intermunicipales.

BASAL – Proyecto Bases Ambientales para la Sostenibilidad Alimentaria Local.

01.11.2016 - 31.12.2018

BASAL contributes to the reduction of the vulnerabilities of the agricultural sector to climate change in Cuba. Its contributions concentrate on the identification, development and application, of measures and tools to promote the adaptation of the Cuban agriculture to the effects of climate change. The project also increases institutional and individual capacities to use the tools and methodologies, put at the disposal of the authorities and the Cuban institutions for the implementation of effective politics that contribute to a sustainable food production in a context of changing climate.

PRODEL – Programme to strengthen municipal capacities for local development

01.04.2016 - 31.03.2020

PRODEL is part of the Cuban decentralization reform process that seeks to build the capacities of local government representatives in local development management and assist them in formulating and implementing Municipal Development Strategies (EDMs) as a tool to maximize local resources and improve local services.

Milchproduktehilfe für Alten- und Behinderteninstitutionen

01.01.2016 - 31.07.2017

Mit dem Einsatz von schweizerischen Milchprodukten in der Nahrungsmittelhilfe leistet die Humanitäre Hilfe des Bundes einen Beitrag zur Vorbeugung und Behandlung von Fehl-/Unterernährung und Krankheiten. Der vom Parlament gesprochene Kredit von jährlich rund 20 Millionen Franken für den Kauf von schweizerischen Milchprodukten und deren Einsatz zu Gunsten Bedürftiger wird von der Humanitären Hilfe verwaltet. Sie hat den Auftrag, eine nachhaltige, gezielte und eng begleitete Nahrungsmittelhilfe sicherzustellen.

PEGIN - Promoción de la Equidad de Género con Incidencia Nacional

01.04.2015 - 31.03.2019

Formada por seis organizaciones cubanas la plataforma PEGIN busca incidir en políticas nacionales para promover procesos políticos y sociales a favor de la igualdad de género y para evitar que las reformas actuales no crean nuevas discriminaciones. Además, el proyecto contribuye a incorporar los principios de igualdad de género en todo el programa de COSUDE (transversalización).

WFP - Food Aid Swiss Dairy Products (Cuba)

01.01.2015 - 31.12.2017

Through the usage of food aid in the form of Swiss dairy products, Swiss Humanitarian Aid contributes to the prevention and treatment of malnutrition, undernourishment, and disease. The SDC’s Humanitarian Aid administers the credit granted by parliament for a yearly amount of some CHF 20 million destined for the purchase of Swiss dairy products and their use for the benefit of the needy. Its task is to ensure a sustainable, targeted, and closely monitored food aid.

AGRI-CHAINS – Development of agri-food chains at the local level

01.05.2014 - 31.12.2018

The AGROCADENAS Project, developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and the European Union with the contribution of Switzerland, seeks to improve food security through increased local production and dynamic processing and marketing. It supports three key agri-food chains (grains, cow milk and beef), benefiting 10,000 producers directly and over 1.6 million inhabitants in selected municipalities indirectly

PADIT – Coordinated Platform Programme for the Comprehensive Development of the Territories

01.04.2014 - 31.12.2017

The PADIT (Coordinated Platform Programme for the Comprehensive Development of the Territories) project is part of the decentralisation process that is currently underway in Cuba, strengthening capabilities for the management of local development and coordinating the three governmental levels (municipal, provincial, national). PADIT supports the implementation of inclusive social services and inter-municipal production activities as well as links between actors in the public, private and cooperative sectors, thus assisting 500,000 people, with particular focus on women and the young.

Contribution to the health programme of the Swiss NGO mediCuba-Suisse in Cuba 2013 – 2017

01.09.2013 - 31.08.2017

Seit 1992 trägt mediCuba-Suisse zur Erhaltung und Verbesserung der für alle zugänglichen kubanischen Gesundheitsversorgung bei. Für die nächsten vier Jahre (2013 – 17) ist eine Neuausrichtung und Konsolidierung der Arbeit, u. a. durch die Einrichtung einer professionellen Koordinationsstelle vor Ort geplant. Anstelle der bisherigen punktuellen Beiträge wird die DEZA für diese Phase jährliche Beiträge an das wirkungsvolle und in Kuba sehr geschätzte Gesundheitsprogramm von mediCuba-Suisse leisten.

Support to the Creation of Second-tier Cooperatives in the Farming Sector in Cuba

01.10.2012 - 31.12.2018

The programme promotes the establishment of non-state organizations (second-tier cooperatives) for the provision of services and products to improve the productivity of small farmers and agricultural cooperatives. These early experiences in the country will provide for learning experiences that will facilitate the development of these self-managed organizations and will contribute to food security.

Gestión participativa local en la gestión del Centro Histórico - GEPAC

01.07.2012 - 30.06.2017

El programa se enfoca hacia el perfeccionamiento de herramientas de gestión local de la Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad de La Habana OHCH, fortaleciendo instrumentos de participación ciudadana en la toma de decisiones y de apoyo a pequeños emprendimientos privados y cooperativos. La experiencia funciona como un laboratorio de prácticas que pueden ser extendidas a la gestión municipal para favorecer el proceso de descentralización y de impulso al desarrollo local en curso en Cuba.

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