15 years of Swiss cooperation for water in Kosovo

Bern, Press releases, 19.06.2014

As the lead donor in the water sector in Kosovo, Switzerland will inaugurate tomorrow June 20th 2014 a water supply project in Gjilan. This marks 15 years of Swiss support for the water supply in Kosovo. Since 1999 Switzerland has financed 22 water projects for a total of 45 mio CHF contributing to the increase from 44% to 76% of the total population being supplied with water.

Kosovo Minister of Economic Development Fadil Ismajli and Swiss Ambassador Krystyna Marty Lang inaugurate together with officials from Kosovo the Swiss financed water project involving the rehabilitation and extension of water pipe systems in Ferizaj, as well as the construction of a new reservoir in Gjilan. Furthermore, a new billing system is introduced in both towns for a total of 6.7 mio CHF.

The Swiss program started in 1999 by the Swiss Humanitarian Aid with emergency water supply and it was soon taken over by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) within the programs of the cooperation with Eastern Europe (EEC) in the form of a proper water supply program targeting mainly the South-Eastern region of Kosovo. Between 1999 and 2014, Switzerland was the third largest donor in the water sector with an investment of 45 mio CHF.

Today Switzerland is the lead donor in the water sector in Kosovo. Besides water supply Switzerland supports since its foundation in 2008 the Inter-ministerial Water Council, a high level decision-making body with the tasks to advance the water sector related policy, coordinating a large number of approaches, rules and regulations issued by different ministries.

With the support of Switzerland and other donors the total population covered with water supply systems increased from 44% to 76%, whereas in rural areas it increased from 8 to 61% in the last 15 years. For the next years Switzerland will focus on the further extension of the water supply in rural areas and on the construction of wastewater treatment plants.

In line with its cooperation strategy 2013-2016 for Kosovo, Switzerland focuses on the four areas of democratic governance and decentralization, economy and employment, water and sanitation, and health. The programs are implemented by SDC and SECO jointly with international and local partner organizations. The Swiss presence in Kosovo includes a contingent of the Army (Swisscoy) and programs of the Federal Office for Migration (FOM) and the Human Security Division (HSD).

Further information:

Coordination Office Kosovo
SECO: Kosovo
SDC: Kosovo
SDC: Water: Inalienable right – exhaustible resource

Address for enquiries:

Guy Bonvin, SECO
Economic Cooperation and Development
Head of Infrastructure Financing
+41 (0)58 464 07 62

Information FDFA
+41 (0)58 322 31 53


Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs