VUCA, an acronym for the new age, stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. 2021 brought us a taste of this world:

Planning? Impossible! No sooner were we emerging from a Covid wave and full of hope, than the next wave followed. Easing – lockdown – easing – restrictions… Planning almost impossible. Journeys to other countries were postponed. Cancelled. Rebooked. Our projects adapted to the ever-changing reality. We continued to work from the office, from home, via Teams.

Radical ruptures: the coup in Myanmar marked the beginning, with the brutal takeover by the military government wreaking devastation in the Asian country of hope. This was followed by the violent change of government in Chad, and attempts of a similar nature in Guinea-Bissau. Several attacks were carried out by Jihadists in the Sahel, and in Nicaragua, organisations critical of the government were threatened with expulsion from the country. Sleepless nights? Reliability is our hallmark. SWISSAID stays the course, even when times are hard. We strive to be there for our people, at all times. Especially in times of need.

What next for world food security? The fact that the number of hungry people in the world has increased again due to climate change and the pandemic is one thing. The fact that the UN World Food Summit was dominated by the interests of industrial.agriculture was the other. Neither is acceptable. SWISSAID discussed agroecology in webinars and at conferences, and a study carried out in our project countries revealed how women feed their families and the world. Our close collaboration with gave our voice a global reach, which may well have helped the Federal Council to adopt its positive stance towards agroecology.

In 2021, we learned to deal with VUCA. In 2022, this will continue to be our reality. Together with you, dear supporters, we hope for better times nonetheless.

Markus Allemann,
Executive Director