The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is Switzerland’s international cooperation agency within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the government of Switzerland. In collaboration with other federal offices, SDC is responsible for the overall coordination of cooperation activities in developing countries, cooperation with Eastern Europe, and the humanitarian aid delivered by the Swiss Confederation.
The goal of development cooperation is reducing poverty. It is meant to foster economic self-reliance and state autonomy; to contribute to the improvement of production conditions; to help in finding solutions to environmental problems; and to provide better access to education and basic healthcare services.
SDC partners with local and international development organizations to foster good governance and strengthen citizens participation in national decision-making; to improve food security and sustainable use of natural resources; and to strengthen vocational education and create job opportunities. SDC is committed to gender and ethnic equality, climate change resilient interventions, and conflict-sensitive program management.
The Economic Cooperation and Development Division of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is responsible for the planning and implementation of economic cooperation and development activities with middle-income, developing countries; Eastern Europe; the Commonwealth of Independent States; and the new members of the European Union. It coordinates Switzerland’s relations with the World Bank Group, regional development banks, and the economic organizations of the United Nations. SECO is part of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER).
The objective of Switzerland’s international cooperation is sustainable global development that will reduce poverty and global risks. Accordingly, SECO’s economic and trade policy interventions strive to integrate its partner countries into the global economy and foster economic growth that is both socially responsible and environmentally friendly. The Economic and Development Division bases its activities on its competences and experience in promoting economic and fiscal policy, urban infrastructures and utilities, the private sector and entrepreneurship, sustainable trade, and climate-friendly growth. Special emphasis is placed on issues related to economic governance and gender.