The SDC's development cooperation supports relevant transformation processes in its 21 partner countries and regions, while simultaneously promoting the rule of law. Throughout its activities, it orientates itself to the principles of gender equality and the integration of excluded population groups. The SDC’s partner countries and regions are among the poorest and structurally weakest in the world.
Priorities of development cooperation with the South
The SDC supports transformation processes by means of over 500 programmes, placing particular emphasis on issues that are relevant to its partner countries, while simultaneously promoting the rule of law. Throughout its activities, it is underpinned by the principles of gender equality and the integration of excluded population groups. The SDC focuses on public and private development actors and assists them in assuming responsibility for sustainable development in accordance with the principles of democratic governance. Thanks to Switzerland’s many years of involvement and the resulting relationships of trust with its partner countries, the SDC can work systematically to remove significant obstacles to development.
Priority countries and regions
The SDC’s development cooperation with the South currently focuses its activities on 21 of the poorest and structurally weakest countries and regions in the world, in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean . While increasing its involvement in countries and regions considered as fragile, it is simultaneously continuing its efforts in its other, more stable, partner countries. Following an analysis of needs, benefits and Swiss interests, the international development cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean is in the process of being gradually discontinued, with full effect in 2024. In the final phase of the programmes, particular attention will be paid to ensuring the sustainability of the achieved goals.
- North Africa and the Middle East
- Sub-Saharan Africa
- South East Asia
- Latin America and the Caribbean (until the end of 2024 )
The 10 priorities for Switzerland’s development cooperation are as follows:
- Basic education and vocational skills development
- Private sector development and financial services
- State reform, local administrative reform and civic participation
- Management of fragility
- Gender equality
- Agriculture and food security
- Climate change
The last five of these themes are considered 'global programmes'. Gender equality and governance are managed as both transecting and stand-alone themes.