The Swiss development organization Helvetas supported more than 3.8 million people in 2019. The NGO focuses on addressing the causes of poverty. Clean drinking water and sanitation as well as access to education and markets are the cornerstones for positive and sustainable change. This is also currently reflected in the response to COVID-19.
Helvetas can look back on a successful year. The Swiss development organization was able to support more than 3.8 million people in 29 countries, enabling them to lead a better life. This was made possible not least thanks to generous donations and contributions.
With 31.7 million Swiss francs, Helvetas was able to receive more donations in 2019 than ever before. The non-governmental organization (NGO) also succeeded in launching new partnerships with foundations and companies in Switzerland and abroad. Swiss Solidarity's contributions amounted to almost four million Swiss francs. The broad support shows the high level of trust that Helvetas enjoys for its sustainable work. With a share of 10%, expenditure on administration and fundraising remains low.
Helvetas has been able to continuously expand its funding base over the last few years. In addition to donations, the program contribution and mandates from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), as well as mandates from other international clients, contributed significantly to the turnover of 137.6 million.
Water as a cornerstone for sustainable development
The human right to water and sanitation remains a central concern of Helvetas. It is the indispensable foundation for sustainable development. Access to clean water, basic sanitation and good hygiene practices offer opportunities for better education, health and economic development. Last year, almost half a million people – 497,963 people – gained access to drinking water or sanitation thanks to Helvetas. The importance of functioning water supply has been demonstrated once again during the COVID-19 crisis.
Economic development and species conservation in one
A self-determined life in dignity is only possible if people in developing countries have work and income. In 2019, Helvetas supported 691,551 people in achieving higher harvests through sustainable and efficient farming methods, and 322,880 people attended courses to improve the marketing of their produce. For example, Helvetas has built and strengthened value chains for regional, national and international markets in Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar on behalf of Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). In Southeast Asian countries, Helvetas supports the export of herbs, flowers, roots and plant juices. Since these plants only thrive in intact ecosystems, the forest is preserved. And because collecting or cultivating these plants is labor-intensive, new jobs are created. The aim is to create a network of service providers who all have one goal: to promote national and international trade in ethically produced natural raw materials.
Helvetas helps to reduce the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis
The coronavirus crisis threatens to destroy the development progress of the past decades. The economic and health consequences of the pandemic add to poverty and other existing crises. In the coming months and years, COVID-19 and its consequences will keep Helvetas very busy. The experiences of the development organization will remain a strong foundation for reducing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the poorest people and for quickly finding our way back to positive change.