COVID-19: Switzerland's international cooperation response

A female doctor gives a woman holding a baby a packet of medicine.
Strengthening health systems, as here in Afghanistan, is a priority of Swiss international cooperation activities focused on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. © World Bank

COVID-19 is not just a health crisis. Its economic, financial and social consequences are aggravating the precarious situation in developing countries that are already affected by poverty, crises and need. The FDFA is working to address the situation at various levels within the framework of its international cooperation (IC) activities.

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Human Security Division (HSD) have responded quickly and effectively to the new global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus is on health, humanitarian aid, the preservation of livelihoods, peace and security, as well as support for internationally active organisations.

World map showing the FDFA's work on tackling the COVID-19 crisis.

International cooperation

Developing countries are particularly hard hit by the consequences of COVID-19. Switzerland is showing solidarity and responding quickly and effectively in order to mitigate the economic and social consequences of the pandemic – an overview.

International cooperation

A man in a pink jacket disinfects a well in a refugee camp in Bangladesh.

Fast and unbureaucratic response

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a drastic effect on people's health and social lives as well as on the economy, and it is hitting developing countries especially hard. It is in Switzerland's interests to support other countries in their fight against COVID-19.

Fast and unbureaucratic response

 A health worker looks through an intensive care unit window past a taped-on paper sign that says 'COVID–19'.

Lessons from the fight against malaria

The fight against malaria is an important global healthcare priority for Switzerland's international cooperation. The lessons learned in fighting malaria can provide important input for tackling the COVID–19 pandemic.

Lessons from the fight against malaria

An African woman wearing a mask and an orange vest in a warehouse stacked with boxes

Global network of volunteers

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day honours the efforts and commitment of more than 13 million volunteers working to prevent and alleviate human suffering around the world – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Global network of volunteers

 A mother with her child in her arms receives medication from a hospital employee in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Financial assistance and expertise

The World Bank Group supports poor countries in their fight against COVID-19. In the short term, it will focus its efforts to mitigate the fallout from the pandemic. Over the longer term, it will provide poor countries with support to stabilise their economies.

Financial assistance and expertise

The Swiss ambassador to Nepal and the Nepalese Minister for Health and Population standing in front of an airplane and holding up a poster announcing the handover of 30,000 COVID-19 test kits.

Long-term partnership

Development cooperation must be able to act quickly and flexibly, as the example of Nepal shows. Swiss nationals stranded in the country were able to return home quickly on repatriation flights.

Long-term partnership

Diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines

At its meeting of 13 May 2020, the Federal Council approved the allocation of CHF 175 million for the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds will be used for humanitarian aid and the development and production of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.

Diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines

Support for internationally active organisations

On 29 April 2020, the Federal Council agreed to contribute CHF 400 million to international efforts to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in developing countries.

Support for internationally active organisations

Disinfection material

Adaptation of existing programmes

At the beginning of April 2020, the FDFA began dispatching relief supplies to other countries to help them tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. The SDC is continually adapting existing programmes, supporting international organisations and delivering relief supplies to affected countries.

Adaptation of existing programmes

COVID-19 newsfeed

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis that knows no national borders. Developing countries are doubly affected by the pandemic. Switzerland's assistance focuses on different aspects.

COVID-19 newsfeed