Mandate of Humanitarian Aid

Through prevention and rescue measures, Swiss Humanitarian Aid aims to contribute to safeguarding the lives of endangered people and to alleviating suffering. At the multilateral level, it works to create a more effective international system for responding to crises.

The SDC's humanitarian mandate is universal, meaning it offers assistance where needed, irrespective of geographic location. At the centre of any humanitarian aid effort are people's lives. Humanitarian aid helps people to stay safe and retain their dignity and rights in times of crisis, violence, armed conflict or disaster. Humanitarian aid goes hand in hand with respect for international humanitarian law, international norms and the humanitarian principles.

The 1976 Federal Act on International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid and the Swiss International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24 provide the basis for the work of SDC Humanitarian Aid.

True commitment to international humanitarian law

Switzerland's humanitarian engagement aims to convey the spirit of international humanitarian law and its fundamental principles. In all its programmes and activities, SDC Humanitarian Aid pays close attention to gender equality, respect for human rights, environmental protection and good governance. It helps all victims regardless of race, gender, language, religion, political views and social affiliation.

At the multilateral level, it advocates for an international system that responds more effectively to humanitarian crises. Thanks to the funding and operational support it provides multilateral partners and the impact of Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit operations on the ground, Switzerland is considered a credible, respected and influential humanitarian partner.