As it has done for the past 75 years, our name “Swissaid” says it all: Switzerland helps. In 2023, our anniversary year, we reflected on what this help looks like today. Our focus is no longer on reconstruction aid and orphans in post-war Europe, but on climate-related crises and adaptation aid for smallholders in the nine countries around the world in which we are active. The misery and urgency that called us to action in our early days continue to drive us today – and our commitment to a world in which Switzerland provides support in solidarity and on an equal footing, focussing on the people who need us.

Unfortunately, it is also true that on an official level, Switzerland is sometimes not helpful at all. I often feel ashamed when, for example, rich Switzerland skimps on its climate funding or hides behind neutrality and does not take a stand. I worry about the generations to come, who will have to deal with the loss of species and climate damage and make up for missed opportunities such as the transition to fossil-free energy at home.

With our agroecology projects, we demonstrate that a different, autonomous, environmentally friendly and sustainable course is possible, at least in the food sector. Investment in food systems that are locally based, avoid the use of chemical fertilisers and take the reality of local people’s lives into account is more than just temporary aid. It is the concrete achievement of a world without hunger, in which even the poorest can lead a healthy, dignified and self-determined life.

A vision that guides us. And a vision that brings us together – with you, dear supporters. And with all those we have had the honour and privilege of meeting in our countries.

Markus Allemann
Executive Director