Call to improve development goals
A lobby group has called for greater and more-targeted involvement by Switzerland in providing aid and development to the world's poorest nations.
Alliance Sud, the Swiss Alliance of Development Organisations, made the statement on Friday, ten days ahead of a parliament vote on development funding.
Peter Niggli, head of the group, said Swiss aid should favour direct partnerships with beneficiaries and follow the Millennium Objectives set by the United Nations in 2000 for global poverty numbers to be halved by 2015.
There was a tendency to use development funds to conclude "strategic partnerships" in economic, technological or scientific matters with emerging countries such as India, he added.
Parliament is due to vote at its next session on whether to approve funding worth SFr4.5 billion ($4.3 billion) for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and SFr800 million for the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs for 2009-2012.
Alliance Sud is the common platform for development policy lobbying by the six leading Swiss development organisations.
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