From 2025, more funds from international cooperation were supposed to flow to Sub-Saharan Africa. Instead, these funds are now being invested in the reconstruction of Ukraine. This should not be the case! Ukraine needs its own generous budget for reconstruction. Meanwhile, the Global South is not able to afford a loss of support. The campaign launched today by Alliance Sud shows how Switzerland can support Ukraine without the Global South having to pay for it.

In 2020, when the Federal Council decided on the withdrawal of Swiss development cooperation from Latin America, a decision regretted by many development organizations, it was decided to reallocate the freed-up funds to other priority regions – strengthening International Cooperation (IC) in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, and the Middle East. VSF-Suisse is actively involved in in-ternational cooperation in Sub-Saharan Africa, contributing to improving local food security and general livelihoods. However, the strengthening of priority regions originally intended in the 2025-2028 strategy is no longer possible if support for Ukraine is to come from the same financial framework.

But there is more! At the same time, massive cuts to international cooperation for the years 2025-2028 are being discussed in Parliament. After these cuts, Switzerland is estimated to allocate only 0.36% of the Gross National Income for international development cooperation. The UN develop-ment goal is 0.7% – double the proposed allocation. The planned cuts would represent a low point in funds allocated to IC in the last 10 years. However, the effects of climate change, the conse-quences of conflicts, and setbacks caused by the COVID-19 crisis provide no justification for reduc-ing international cooperation.

The planned strategy rightly gives the necessary weight to the recent developments in Ukraine. The Ukraine will need support for reconstruction, including from Switzerland. However, this should not come at the expense of the Global South! It is inconsistent to take the funds required for humani-tarian aid in Ukraine from the IC financial framework and thereby reducing the financial resources available for the crisis-ridden Global South. The allocated funds of 1.5 billion Swiss francs will not be sufficient for sustainable support to Ukraine, which is why financing outside of IC is imperative. Due to the “extraordinary developments beyond the control of the Federal government” (Article 15 (1) Financial Management Act), it is justified to account for the support measures for Ukraine as ex-traordinary expenses. This is also the response of VSF-Suisse to the Federal Council’s consultation.

The goal of the campaign and VSF-Suisse is therefore to ensure that as much of the support for Ukraine as possible comes from outside the IC budget. This improves the strategy of international cooperation in three ways: the Global South does not have to pay the price for international con-flicts, humanitarian aid in Ukraine receives its own sustainably planned and generous budget, and Swiss development cooperation is expanded to get one step closer to the aforementioned UN de-velopment goal.

Read Alliance Sud’s press release here.

Visit the campaign’s website here.

Zora Hebeisen
Intern Communication
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