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Switzerland and ICRC sign protocol amending headquarters agreement

27.11.2020 — Press release EDA
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis and ICRC President Peter Maurer have signed a protocol amending the agreement which has governed the ICRC's status in Switzerland since 1993. The ICRC is the federal government's main partner in the field of humanitarian aid and plays a key role in the protection of victims of armed conflict and implementation of the Geneva Conventions. The new provisions are designed to increase the ICRC's independence and capacity for action.


Parliament Building to be lit orange as protest against violence against women

24.11.2020 — Press release EDA
On 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Parliament Building will be lit up in orange, the colour chosen to symbolise the day. Combating violence against women is a priority for Switzerland, both at national and international level. A further aim of this initiative is to highlight the authorities’ practice of zero tolerance towards violence against women, particularly during the pandemic.


Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis opens Afghanistan Conference in Geneva

24.11.2020 — Press release EDA
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis welcomed the international community to the Afghanistan Conference in Geneva on 24 November. Most of the major donor countries took part virtually in the pledging conference, which sets the development priorities and financial support for Afghanistan every four years. Switzerland has pledged CHF 104 million for the upcoming period. The donors' conference comes at a critical juncture with the Afghan government and Taliban having started peace talks in September. In his capacity as head of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Mr Cassis also held bilateral talks with his Afghan and Finnish counterparts on the margins of the conference.


Hurricane Iota in Central America: another demonstration of solidarity by Switzerland

23.11.2020 — Press release EDA
Central America, already ravaged by Hurricane Eta, has again been hit by an extreme weather event. The latest, Hurricane Iota, has already wreaked havoc in several countries across the region. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) is responding to the emergency by sending specialists and released CHF 2 million to help the survivors.


Switzerland funds reconstruction of houses in Albania: Federal Councillor Cassis gets an update on the status of the projects

23.11.2020 — Press release EDA
During his official visit to Tirana on 23 November 2020, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis met the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Gent Cakaj and President Ilir Meta. The talks focused on Switzerland's commitment in Albania, Albania's chairmanship of the OSCE and the candidacy of both countries for the UN Security Council. The head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) also visited an SDC project to restore destroyed houses.


Poverty reduction and sustainable development: Switzerland renews its support to the UNDP

18.11.2020 — Press release EDA
Despite progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda, some 600 million people worldwide live in extreme poverty. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this number is rising sharply for the first time in decades. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) plays a key role in poverty reduction. The Federal Council has therefore decided on 18 November to allocate a contribution of 52.7 million francs to the UNDP.


Switzerland to continue support for UNRWA in 2021–2022

18.11.2020 — Press release EDA
At its meeting of 18 November 2020, the Federal Council decided to continue to provide the same level of support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) for the next two years. Switzerland intends to continue to support and closely monitor the management reforms initiated by UNRWA. Switzerland's 40 million francs contribution will help to alleviate the precarious humanitarian situation, create prospects, reduce the risk of young people becoming radicalised, and strengthen stability in the region.


Central America: Switzerland aids Hurricane Eta survivors

12.11.2020 — Press release EDA
Central American countries have been hit hard by Hurricane Eta. High winds and torrential rains have caused severe damage. Switzerland is providing CHF 700,000 to help those affected in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala.



Clean drinking water and COVID-19: Swiss aid convoy reaches conflict zone in eastern Ukraine

15.10.2020 — Press release EDA
The COVID-19 pandemic is also having an impact on the aid Switzerland provides to those suffering in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine. For the first time, a large part of the aid convoy is made up of medical supplies to help overcome the COVID crisis. On 15 October 2020, the twelfth convoy organised by Swiss Humanitarian Aid, comprising 19 trucks, reached the Donetsk region.


Switzerland provides CHF 1 million to help flood-stricken Sudan

09.10.2020 — Press release EDA
The state secretary of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Krystyna Marty, received the foreign minister of Sudan, Omer Gamareldin Ismail, in Bern on Friday. Various topics were discussed at the meeting, which was also attended by the director general of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Patricia Danzi, and other federal administration officials. Swiss Humanitarian Aid announced at the meeting that it was allocating CHF 1 million to assist Sudan, which has recently been hit by devastating floods.


Switzerland completes emergency aid operation on Lesbos

30.09.2020 — Press release EDA
Switzerland responded immediately with emergency aid following a fire which devastated the refugee transit camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. Over several weeks, Swiss Humanitarian Aid focused on access to safe drinking water, medical support in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and disaster risk reduction. It also dispatched five tonnes of relief supplies to the facility. Switzerland is ending its emergency aid activities on Wednesday 30 September, having restored access to clean drinking water for 10,000 people. It will continue its support in the form of medium and long-term assistance.

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