Switzerland’s official development assistance (ODA) comprises contributions from the federal government, cantons and communes that are meant to facilitate the economic and social development of recipient countries. ODA is recorded in accordance with the international directives of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC).
Swiss official development assistance
Official development assistance (ODA) as % of gross national income (GNI)
Switzerland's ODA 2022
In 2022, Swiss official development assistance (ODA) totalled CHF 4,274 million, CHF 699 million more than in the previous year (2021: CHF 3,576 million).
As a proportion of gross national income (GNI), Switzerland's ODA increased to 0.56% (2021: 0.50%) and is now at an all-time high. The increase compared to the previous year is mainly due to expenses related to the war in Ukraine and in particular to the costs incurred by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) for persons in need of protection without a residence permit in Switzerland (S status).
Excluding asylum costs, reported ODA expenditure decreased by CHF 171 million compared to 2021. The ODA/GNI ratio excluding asylum costs thus reached 0.40% in 2022, compared to 0.45% the previous year. This decrease can be explained in particular by a strong increase in GNI (+6.6%) and by the special efforts made in 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which did not have to be repeated to the same extent in 2022.
Composition and development of Swiss ODA
Evolution of Swiss ODA ratio per Federal Department and Office
Switzerland's international cooperation is implemented mainly by the SDC and SECO’s Economic Cooperation and Development Division, the two bodies which are charged with executing the Federal Act on International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid and the Federal Act on Cooperation with Eastern European Countries. Spending by the SDC and SECO accounted for approximately 60% of ODA expenditure in 2022.
In accordance with DAC reporting rules, Switzerland also declares as ODA the costs of receiving asylum seekers, temporarily admitted persons and refugees from developing countries during their first 12 months in Switzerland. They consist of the flat-rate contributions made by the SEM to the cantons (CHF 846 million), the schooling of children of asylum seekers in registration centres (CHF 7 million), as well as the costs of the Swiss Confederation's registration centres (CHF 297 million), the costs of legal representation during proceedings (CHF 44 million) and the costs for interpreters (CHF 12 million). These costs constitute 28% of the total ODA for 2022.
Other federal bodies are also involved in Switzerland's international cooperation, including the FDFA’s Peace and Human Rights Division and the Federal Office for the Environment.