Federal Administration admin.ch
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC
SDC – on location worldwide

Visit Swiss Cooperation Office websites.

Specific projects
Films - An insight into the SDC
Humanitaere Hilfe

A number of short films provide an insight into the SDC’s mission

Humanitarian Aid
Portrait of an employee in Sri Lanka
All short films

Aid operations
Strategy 2013–2016
Four framework credits, one Message

What are the new strategic orientations of Switzerland’s international cooperation? Which principles guide and which instruments are applied in Switzerland’s international cooperation?
Strategy 2013–2016

Humanitarian Aid: saving lives and alleviating suffering

The humanitarian aid operations of the SDC are an expression of Switzerland's solidarity towards population groups in distress. The Swiss Humanitarian Aid department focuses on emergency aid, the reconstruction and rehabilitation of disaster-stricken areas, and disaster risk reduction. It places the victims at the centre of its engagement in a spirit of neutrality, independence and impartiality.

The Swiss Humanitarian Aid.
The Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) is the operational arm of the humanitarian aid provided by the Confederation. © SDC

Swiss Humanitarian Aid is one of the four departments of the SDC. It is involved in protecting the interests of vulnerable population groups prior to, during and after periods of conflict, crises or natural disasters. It has the following instruments at its disposal:

Swiss Humanitarian Aid aims to ensure the sustainability of its commitment on the ground through linking emergency aid with medium- and long-term programmes. For the 2013-2016 period, Switzerland has earmarked more than CHF 2 billion in humanitarian aid for those most in need.

Information on the mandate, legal foundations and implementation
Information on the thematic priorities of Swiss Humanitarian Aid

Spotlight on

Children being able to go to school again thanks to the commitment of the SHA after the typhoon Haiyan © DEZA

14.3.2014 – Annual conference of Swiss Humanitarian Aid and the SHA
New instruments for more complex crises
Didier Burkhalter and SDC Director-General Martin Dahinden spoke about Switzerland's humanitarian actors. Swiss experts gave presentations on the response by Swiss Humanitarian Aid to current crises.


Dossier : speech, videos, media release


Tayphoon Haiyan
Switzerland’s committment in the Philippines

The FDFA has decided to allocate CHF 6 million to support humanitarian activities in the Philippines. This decision reflects the Swiss Confederation’s wish to provide help for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. The sum will be used to fund direct action by Swiss Humanitarian Aid for the benefit of those affected by the typhoon.

Crisis Management Centre

Three years of the Syrian crisis. © SDC

Three years of the Syrian crisis
The Syrian people saw their country plunged into upheaval in March 2011. As well as mobilising its humanitarian forces, Switzerland is working to find political solutions to the conflict and to fight impunity among the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Video interview
Switzerland's activity in Syria

Children in an IDP camp in the Centralafrican Republic © OCHA

Crisis in Central African Republic
Switzerland steps up support for victims
In view of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), Switzerland has allocated CHF 800,000 for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to protect internally displaced persons. This commitment is in addition to the support totalling CHF 2.7 million that Switzerland has already earmarked for 2013 for the emergency operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the World Food Programme (WFP), the UNHCR and Médecins sans frontières (MSF).

Media release, 20.12.2013


United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
Swiss national appointed commissioner-general of UNRWA
Pierre Krähenbühl, current director of operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has been appointed commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) by the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon.

Media release 20.11.2013

The building of earthquake-resistant infrastructures unfolds via the building of local capacities. Here we see a member of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit at a practical workshop with bricklayers in Haiti. © SDC

International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction
The SDC supports the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction, celebrated this year on 13 October. The reduction of such risks occupies a central role bothin the SDC’s humanitarian aid programmes and in its regional and global cooperation.

SDC engagement: Disaster Risk Reduction

Une petite Pakistanaise rayonnante porte une bassine d’eau sur la tête. © DDC

World Humanitarian Day
Water – a humanitarian need
19 August 2013 marked the fifth anniversary of World Humanitarian Day. As 2013 has also been designated “International Year of Water Cooperation”, Swiss Humanitarian Aid will take the opportunity to present a selection of projects it has carried out in this sector and launch a competition.

Competition (de, fr, en)

Logo 150 Jahre (© IKRK)

8 May 2013
World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day
On 8 May World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day and the anniversary of the birth of its founder and Nobel laureate, Henry Dunant, were commemorated. This year, 2013, several special events have also been included in the calendar to mark 150 years of the ICRC. Switzerland is taking advantage of these anniversaries to pay tribute to the partners who are keeping its humanitarian tradition and commitment alive. On 8 May the FDFA emphasised the excellent relations and the close cooperation between Switzerland and the Swiss Red Cross.

Dossier 150 years ICRC

Annual Conference of Switzerland’s Humanitarian Aid (© SDC)

15 March 2013, Kursaal Bern
Annual Conference of Switzerland’s Humanitarian Aid
Dedicated to the theme «Accessing the Victims – the Challenge» the Conference presented specific projects and programmes from the bilateral commitments of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) and the multilateral cooperation taking place in Mali, Syria, and Myanmar.

Dossier: Films, media release, speches

Cover Bild des Konzepts für die multilaterale humanitäre Hilfe (© UNO)

New Publication
Multilateral Humanitarian Aid Concept
This document outlines Switzerland’s strategy and priorities relating to humanitarian multilateral aid for the period 2013–2016. It explains how Swiss Humanitarian Aid will strengthen its multilateral activities through financial and in-kind contributions as well as secondments to multilateral organizations. It also provides information on SDC humanitarian objectives, approaches and partnerships.

Multilateral Humanitarian Aid Concept
Download (PDF, 4155 KB): [en]

Additional Information and Documents

  • Swiss Humanitarian Aid
    Saving lives, alleviating suffering
    Download (PDF, 1900 KB) [de]   [en]   [fr]   [it]   [es]