The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is Switzerland’s international cooperation agency within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). In operating with other federal offices concerned, SDC is responsible for the overall coordination of development activities and cooperation with Eastern Europe, as well as for the humanitarian aid delivered by the Swiss Confederation. The goal of development cooperation is that of 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. Switzerland’s cooperation programme in Kosovo began with its participation in an OSCE verification mission. During the armed conflict in 1998–1999, it set up an extensive humanitarian aid programme. Since the year 2000, humanitarian actions and programmes to assist the return of persons displaced by the war were soon complemented by reconstruction-assistance measures and by projects to foster livelihoods, to promote culture and to aid development. The new Country Strategy 2013-2016 is rooted in the spirit of the agreements of cooperation between the governments of Switzerland and Kosovo and was developed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), in close consultation with Kosovar government offices and partners as the civil society. It represents a strong commitment to continue supporting the economic, social and political transition processes in Kosovo, building on Switzerland’s long-term presence in the country and earlier achievements. Over the years, the Swiss-Kosovar cooperation has grown. Today Switzerland is the fourth largest bilateral development partner in Kosovo. The Swiss programme is coordinated by the Swiss Cooperation Office in Pristina. It is run jointly by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Swiss Federal Department for Economic Affairs. Switzerland supports Kosovo in its transition processes towards socially inclusive market economies and democratic political systems providing access to essential services, as well towards regional and European integration.