Swiss Parliament receives a wake-up call against hunger and poverty

Wake-up Call against Hunger and Poverty” petition with more than 36,000 signatures was handed over to the all-political party delegation in front of the Swiss parliament on 30th May. The petition asks the members of the Swiss Parliament to support international development cooperation and to abstain from Official Development Assistance (ODA) cuts when deciding on the budget framework for the next four years.

Countdown 2015 Europe partner, SEXUAL HEALTH Switzerland has contributed to the campaign by highlighting the importance of ODA for sexual and reproductive health and family planning and by mobilising its network as well as the members of the parliamentary group to sign the petition.

 SEXUAL HEALTH Switzerland emphasized that in the framework of international development cooperation, Switzerland is making a significant financial contribution that improves the lives of women and girls. Every day 800 women worldwide die during pregnancy or childbirth, due to complications that could have been avoided.  Also, 222 million women lack access to modern contraceptive methods.

At the beginning of June, the National Council finally decided to follow the moderate position of the Federal Council and has voted to keep the ODA levels at 0,48%  of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2017-2020. Even though it is 0,02% decrease compared to the 0,5% it is currently, it is still a success as the National Council rejected all demands for severe cuts.

The Council of States, the second chamber of the Swiss parliament, will vote in autumn on the budget framework for 2017-2020. Till then, the campaign “Wake-up Call against Hunger and Poverty” will continue to remind the Council of States that more than 36,000 people are expecting its members to support international development cooperation and the related budgets.

Switzerland has a mandatory debt limit which means that in the present financial situation, some budget cuts are necessary – however, in the opinion of more than 36,000 people that have signed the call, it should be done not at the cost of ODA.

 This is a Countdown 2015 Europe partner action in series “Advance Human Rights, Invest in Family Planning”.

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