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Humanitarian work Switzerland supports ICRC with CHF80 million

This  ICRC image shows the first humanitarian aid convoy in Daraya, Syria on June 1, 2016

(Keystone)

The cabinet has pledged a further annual contribution of CHF80 million ($79 million) to the Geneva headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Switzerland has also earmarked CHF 62.5 million to fund specific ICRCexternal link humanitarian operations in 2017, up from CHF55.3 million the previous year.

This makes Switzerland the fourth largest contributor to the ICRC's overall budget in 2016.

In a statement issued on Fridayexternal link, the government said that Switzerland was supporting what is “often the only organisation to have direct access to people in need during crises and conflicts”.

Switzerland’s contribution will help the ICRC headquarters in Geneva carry out its coordination and support tasks for ICRC delegations in more than 80 countries.

“As depositary state of the Geneva Conventions, Switzerland has a long history of close relations with the ICRC, which is the most important partner of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)external link in the humanitarian field,” added the statement.

Growing numbers of people are affected by armed conflicts and complex crises, the government said. At the end of 2016, around 35,000 people were evacuated from the Syrian city of Aleppo due to ICRC efforts. The organisation also provided food for 950,000 people, facilitated access to clean water for 100,000 people, and vaccinated 24,000 women and children worldwide last year. 

swissinfo.ch/ilj

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