- Eine Welt
Nur in der Schweiz bestellbar
Nr. 1/2013: Nordafrika / Honduras / Äthiopien / Somalia / Telemedizin Mongolei / Kulturprogramm Zentralasien / Wasser
Download (PDF, 5818 KB) : [de] [fr] [it]
- L’accent multilatéral / mars 2013
Le multilatéral à l’épreuve du printemps arabe
Download (PDF, 2232 KB) : [de] [fr]
Switzerland’s support in North Africa
At the beginning of 2011, Switzerland responded quickly to political upheavals in North Africa. Realising that major security, migration and economic interests depend on stable democratic conditions, Switzerland would like to actively guide and support the democratic transition process in this region. On 11 March, 2011 the Federal Council issued five mandates to three Federal Departments to intensify their activities and quickly develop new and tangible support measures. The three Federal Departments were also instructed to act in a coordinated, coherent and complementary fashion.
The following Federal Departments are involved in the support programme in North Africa: the FDJP (through the Federal Office for Migration FOM); the FDEA (through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO); and the FDFA (through the Directorate of Political Affairs PD, the Directorate of Public International Law DPIL, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC). The Swiss support programme focuses on three key areas:
- Easing the transition to democracy and improving the human rights situation;
- Promoting economic growth and job creation
- Addressing migration issues and protecting particularly vulnerable persons
An annual budget of around CHF 60 million was set aside for implementation of the Federal Council’s decision: around CHF 8 million for democratic transition; around CHF 44 million for economic development; and around CHF 8 million for migration and protection.
Since the Federal Council’s decision to sponsor a support programme numerous projects have been initiated. The following aspects of the programme deserve particular mention:
- Emergency relief and survival aid: when armed conflict broke out in Libya, nearly 1 million people fled the country to Tunisia and Egypt. Within a matter of days, the SDC’s Humanitarian Aid and SHA Domain dispatched emergency response teams on the ground to distribute emergency food and sanitary supplies. In Benghazi, medical projects were implemented. At the same time, the FOM and the SDC provided funding to help migrant workers return to their home countries
- Quick action to freeze assets of those formerly in power: Switzerland was the first country worldwide to freeze assets of prominent political figures in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Since then, Switzerland has been working with the authorities of these three countries to return assets legally classified asmisappropriatedas quickly as possible.
- Broad-based support for the first free elections in Tunisia: the FDFA used a wide range of instruments to support free elections on 23 October. Switzerland, for example, funded the production of voting booths and Swiss experts were among the international observers of the elections.
- Swiss expertise in demand: reform of the security sector is needed to restore public faith in the state and therefore is essential for a successful transition. Working with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), Switzerland has already launched security projects in Tunisia and Morocco to provide neutral and professional guidance on how security forces may be structured along democratic lines.
- Creating green jobs: in Tunisia, two sewage treatment plants were built in the province of Kasserine, benefiting 40’000 people in two towns. Renewable energy initiatives were also sponsored. One such project seeks to provide 200 Tunisians with the training needed to install and maintain solar panels. Another project is encouraging 75 companies to adopt more sustainable production methods.
- Arbitration of business disputes: legal disputes between companies are protracted and costly affairs that use up limited resources. For this reason, Switzerland supports a project in Egypt to offer third-party arbitration services as an alternative to lawsuits between companies. At the same time, Egypt is positioning itself as a regional location for training in the arbitration of business disputes.
- 10’000 jobs in Egypt and Tunisia: economic recovery and job creation in Northern Africa are important and urgent objectives. In Egypt, Switzerland has lent support to a fish farm project that seeks to create 10’000 new jobs. In Tunisia, Switzerland seeks to create up to 10’000 jobs by helping young people and women in poor regions to establish small companies.
- Comprehensive and targeted cooperation in the area of migration: Switzerland pursues a comprehensive approach to migration, which is highly appreciated by partner countries. On 11 June 2012 a migration partnership with Tunisia was initiated and three agreements signed with regard, amongst other things, to the return of foreign nationals whose asylum applications have been rejected, and an exchange programme for young professionals. The partnership will also involve regular meetings to discuss migration issues.
- Inter-departmental cooperation and joint programme offices: the FDJP, FDEA and the FDFA have been working closely together. In addition to creating operational synergies, and they have also established joint Swiss programme offices in Egypt und Tunisia.
Switzerland has positioned itself as a reliable and committed partner in North Africa. Switzerland has shown that it follows up on its promises and its rapid response and comprehensive approach to migration issues has drawn a positive response from other donors, with special praise being given to its presence in remote parts of Tunisia where the Jasmine Revolution originated and where inhabitants are particularly isolated.
This has allowed the Federal Council to achieve the objectives set for the new support programme in North Africa: solidarity has been shown to populations in the corresponding countries; and Swiss national interests have been furthered in the areas of security policy, energy policy and, especially, migration policy.
Political and social transformation in the region will be a long-term process with numerous challenges and an uncertain outcome. Switzerland will closely monitor subsequent developments and is committed to creating the best possible conditions for a sustainable and successful transition.
Here, you will find more publications, links, documents and articles about Swiss development cooperation and humanitarian aid in this region.