Water in SDC’s Humanitarian Aid and SHA Department

The mandate of Swiss Humanitarian Aid is to save lives and alleviate suffering. It is active in protecting the interests of vulnerable population groups before, during, and after periods of conflict, crises, or natural disasters. Water and Sanitation is one of four thematic priorities of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid.

Swiss Humanitarian Aid is active in the following areas: reconstruction and rehabilitation of disaster-stricken areas, disaster-risk reduction, protection of vulnerable population groups, and emergency aid.

To implement its mandate, Swiss Humanitarian Aid has the following instruments at its disposal: multilateral and bilateral contributions, direct implementation, in kind donation, and the secondment of experts from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) to its UN partners and to the ICRC.

The number of implemented projects by the Swiss Humanitarian Aid is high, varied, volatile and targeting many countries. For example, in 2018 114 projects in 37 countries were implemented with at least one WASH component and thematic orientation on Water for health (90%), Water governance (20%), Water for food (15%), IWRM (10%) and Water for Environment (10%).

The Swiss Humanitarian Aid contributes to bridging the gap between humanitarian and development interventions by taking on a long-term view on their planning and operations.  SHA often work closely together with other Divisions of the SDC and sometime they jointly implement or support projects - an example of such direct cooperation in water is the ASIR-SABA Project in Colombia, which is co-financed by SDC's Global Programme Water.



The Swiss Humanitarian Aid is primarily active in 16 countries or priority zones of intervention © SDC


The geographic focus of the Humanitarian Aid of SDC is on the crisis points in the Middle East and in sub-Saharan Africa, where the population will most probably continue to be dependent on emergency assistance for years to come.


General information


Information about selected projects can be accesed here