Swiss official development assistance

Switzerland’s official development assistance (ODA) comprises contributions from the federal government, cantons and communes that are meant to facilitate the economic and social development of recipient countries. ODA is recorded in accordance with the international directives of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

Switzerland's ODA 2019

In 2019, Switzerland spent CHF 3.080 billion on ODA, CHF 42 million more than in the previous year. The ratio of ODA to gross national income – the ODA/GNI rate – stood at 0.42% in 2019. This rate is below the average of 0.48% estimated for the period of the Dispatch on Switzerland's International Cooperation 2017–20 and below the 0.5% target set by Parliament in 2011. This is mainly due to lower asylum-related costs included in ODA reporting and cost-cutting measures in Switzerland's international cooperation credit lines adopted by the Federal Council and Parliament in 2016 and 2017.

Development of Swiss ODA 2004 – 2019 (in CHF million)


Switzerland's international cooperation is implemented mainly by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Economic Cooperation and Development Division of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the two bodies which are charged with executing the Federal Act on International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid and the Federal Act on Cooperation with Eastern European Countries. Spending by the SDC and SECO accounted for about 80% of ODA expenditure in 2019.

In accordance with DAC reporting rules, Switzerland also declares as ODA the costs of receiving asylum seekers, temporarily admitted persons and refugees from developing countries during their first 12 months in Switzerland. These costs include the flat rate contributions paid by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) to the cantons (CHF 105 million), the occupation programmes and the costs of the Swiss Confederation's registration centres (CHF 144 million), legal representation fees (CHF 18 million), interpreters/translators (CHF 8 million) and the costs borne by the cantons for the education of the children of asylum seekers (CHF 6 million). These costs remained stable compared to 2018 and constitute 9% of total ODA for 2019.

Other federal bodies are also involved in Switzerland's international cooperation, including the Human Security Division (HSD), which is responsible for the promotion of peace and human rights, and the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).

The part of Switzerland’s ODA expenditure provided by the cantons and communes remained flat at 2%.