The Swiss Federal Council has introduced a draft legislation to increase the country’s official development assistance spending to 0.5 percent of its gross national product by 2015.
The additional funds represent 404 million Swiss francs (USD400 million) over two years: 2011 and 2012. These funds will be disbursed as bilateral aid through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and as multilateral aid through various institutions.
The additional funds for bilateral investments would be spent primarily on programs targeting the Millennium Development Goals on water and climate. Meanwhile, the additional resources for multilateral aid would be channeled to the Multilateral Debt Reduction Initiative, the U.N. Development Program and the African Development Fund, according to a news release from the Swiss Federal Council.
Switzerland currently spends 0.47 percent of its GNP on foreign aid.
The Swiss Parliament is due to open debate on the draft legislation during its winter session.