Earthquake in Haiti
The earthquake in Haiti made almost 1.5 million people homeless. The Confederation’s Humanitarian Aid carried out the largest emergency aid programme in its history. 150 Swiss experts provided over 800 women and children with medical assistance and set up around 50 drinking water stations which daily provided up to 50,000 people with drinking water. Today Humanitarian Aid is focusing on reconstruction. In 2011 work started on the building of two pilot schools for 1000 children in Petit-Goâve.
More information on this project
Development cooperation has increasingly been focusing on reducing the risks of natural disasters. Between 2006 and 2010 the Confederation’s Humanitarian Aid invested more than CHF 10 million in disaster prevention, for example in the construction of earthquake- and flood-proof buildings. In this manner, damage estimated at a value of CHF 40-70 million was prevented.
In 2013–2016 Humanitarian Aid will continue its activities in the areas of disaster relief and prevention, emergency aid and reconstruction. It helps cope with the humanitarian conse-quences of climate change, food crises, water scarcity, environmental changes, nuclear accidents and migration.
More attention is now being paid to prevention and crisis resistance, legal services and victim support as well as international networking.
|The number of natural disasters increases
It is not just crises and armed conflicts that create suffering. Increasingly, natural disasters such as earthquakes, droughts and flooding are becoming a source of misery. The number of disasters has increased significantly in recent years, due in part to climate change. In 2010, these claimed more than 300,000 lives and caused damage valued at over USD 210 billion.
Humanitarian Aid deploys its tried and tested instruments such as rapid response teams and Swiss Rescue. It strengthens its presence in the field, conducts more operations with its own personnel and makes more experts of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) available, also for the benefit of UN organisations. It is intensifying its international commitment under the auspices of the UN, and is continuing with Switzerland’s trademark Red Cross tradition by making a significant contribution to the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
When deciding on where to help, the Confederation’s Humanitarian Aid gives consideration to the extent of the crisis and to Switzerland’s ability to rapidly and effectively help alleviate suffering. It continues Switzerland’s humanitarian tradition and provides help that is free of political conditions.
For the years 2013-2016 Switzerland has committed a total of CHF 2 billion (17.8% of total resources) to humanitarian aid: a third for the bilateral programme (direct actions of the SHA, and for contributions to Swiss, international and local organisations); two-thirds for multilateral contributions, namely for UN organisations (such as the WFP, UNHCR, OCHA, UNICEF) and the ICRC.