Today's armed conflicts, because of their duration, their intensity and their sheer scale, create enormous humanitarian needs. The number of refugees and displaced persons has not been as high since the Second World War. Shocking violations of international humanitarian law are taking place in many conflicts and crises, such as in Syria. Humanitarian access to war victims is often denied or prevented. The work of the ICRC in war and crisis zones has therefore become all the more important. Thanks to its neutral and confidential operating principles, it is one of the few – if not the only – humanitarian organisations that is respected by the parties to any given conflict. This allows the ICRC to gain access to the many in need of its help.
The ICRC is the Swiss federal government's most important partner in the humanitarian field. Switzerland is the biggest contributor to the ICRC’s headquarters budget and its total contributions in 2014 made it the ICRC's third largest donor overall. As depositary state of the Geneva Conventions, Switzerland has a long history of close relations with the ICRC. The headquarters contribution enables the ICRC to perform its difficult work in the service of those affected by crises and armed conflict. From its headquarters in Geneva the ICRC coordinates its more than 80 delegations worldwide.
In addition to this headquarters contribution, Switzerland has earmarked CHF 50.3 million to finance specific ICRC humanitarian operations in 2015, as well as the cost for 150 new ICRC delegates to mark the organisation's 150th anniversary (CHF 18.2 million over a period of four years).
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