Photos (L-R): thank you card distributed in
Berne; poster and flyer design used in Geneva
Switzerland was one of the
earliest to respond following typhoon Haiyan. A day after the typhoon struck,
the Swiss government immediately sent a team of experts through the Swiss
Humanitarian Assistance (SHA) to typhoon-hit areas. To date, the Swiss
government has provided CHF6 Million worth of assistance, CHF3 to 4 Million of
which will be used for relief efforts and the remaining CHF 2 to 3 Million to
support Switzerland’s multilateral partners such as the Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Earlier, Switzerland also
extended CHF250,000 worth of assistance to the earthquake victims in Bohol and
Apart from the assistance
extended by the Swiss federal government, various cantons and cities also donated
more than CHF 1 Million to the typhoon victims.
The Swiss business community
has also been doing its fund-raising activities for the victims of the typhoon.
Swiss bank UBS through its Optimus Foundation, has established an Emergency
Rapid Fund for the victims of typhoon Haiyan. Client donations for the relief
and rehabilitation efforts in the Philippines up to CHF 3MN will be matched by
UBS. Numerous Swiss companies also gave generously for the typhoon victims,
such as retail supermarkets Migros and Coop, which donated CHF1 Million each
through Swiss Solidarity and mining giant Glencore which gave CHF2 Million.
Most of the donations from
Swiss companies and the general public have been coursed through Swiss
Solidarity. To date, donations coursed through the foundation have reached a
running total of CHF 37, 225, 703.00.
Apart from donations coursed
through Swiss Solidarity, donations have also been funnelled through Caritas
Schweiz, the Swiss Red Cross, the Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund (Fastenopfer), the
Catholic community in which majority of Filipinos in Switzerland are active,
and other Swiss NGOs actively working in the Philippines such as Heks, Solidar,
Terre des Hommes, Mediar, Handicap International, Médicins sans Frontière, CBM
Blindenmission, and Adra.
activities by the Filipino expatriate community have raised approximately over
CHF 500,000.00. The amount does not include similar fund-raising campaigns by
other expatriate communities and the Catholic community across Switzerland.
Apart from these cash
donations, donations in-kind have also continuously been sent to the
Philippines to date.
As Ambassador Baja said
in his radio interview with World Radio Switzerland on 17 December, this day of
gratitude is a way of thanking the Swiss population who have always been a
friend indeed to a friend in need. END