Policy Context


Key decision makers are the FOPH, responsible for policymaking in global health, and the SDC, which channels most global health funding. Health is mentioned in Switzerland’s 2021-2024 Strategy on Development Cooperation under the priority on human development, which focuses on saving lives, ensuring quality basic services, especially in relation to education and healthcare, and reducing the causes of forced displacement and irregular migration.


Additionally, Switzerland published a Health Foreign Policy for 2019-2024 prioritizing:

  • Health protection and humanitarian crises;
  • Access to medicine;
  • Sustainable healthcare and digitalization;
  • Health determinants;
  • Governance of the global health regime; and
  • Addiction policy.

The second priority follows, among others, the goal to develop new medicines for neglected or tropical diseases and new antibiotics.


ODA Spending


How much ODA does Switzerland allocate to global health?


In 2021, Switzerland allocated a total of US$531 million, or 13% of its total ODA to health, below the DAC average of 15%. Switzerland was ranked 14th among DAC donors for funding to global health, and 14th among DAC donors for its funding to global health as a percentage of total ODA.



How is Switzerland's global health ODA changing?


While remaining stable around US$220 million between 2017-2019, ODA to global health more than doubled from 2019-2021, arriving at US$531 million. In 2021, 13% of Switzerland’s ODA was invested in health, up from 6% in 2019. The spike in 2021 was largely driven by an increase in funding for COVID-19 control and infectious disease control.



How does Switzerland allocate global health ODA?


Between 2017-2019, 35%, or US$31 million, of Switzerland’s ODA was channeled as core contribution to multilaterals, with the remaining 65% as bilateral and earmarked funding through multilaterals: 50% or US$111 million, and 14% or US$78 million, respectively. However, this composition changed in 2021, where core funding represented only 13%, or US$71 million of Switzerland’s 2021 ODA, with 46%, or US$246 million provided as earmarked funding through multilaterals, and 40%, or US$213 million, as bilateral funding. The distribution is expected to return to pre-COVID-19 levels in the upcoming years.


Multilateral Spending



Bilateral Spending


In 2021, Switzerland provided US$460 million in bilateral health ODA, including bilateral and earmarked funding through multilaterals, of which 29% was spent on COVID-19 control. Basic health care and infectious disease control received the second- and third-largest shares of bilateral health ODA, respectively.



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Switzerland/Global Health

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Clara Brettfeld

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