Social assistance in Switzerland

Thanks to your donations we can provide assistance to people in need in Switzerland.

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Individuals and families in need

About a million people in Switzerland are affected by poverty or struggle to make ends meet. Those most frequently affected are single-parent families, families with many children, people with a low level of education and foreign nationals.

Although Switzerland has an extensive social insurance system, for people living at a minimum subsistence level, an unexpected bill may prove a disaster.

Not being able to pay a bill – perhaps because of other costs for medical treatment, glasses, moving house or a visit to the dentist – can lead to a vicious circle of debt and poverty.

A women picks up her child, an empty shopping trolley in the background.

This is where your donation can help. With a small sum we can improve a person’s situation, even long-term.

An elderly women counts the banknotes in her purse.

A small amount goes a long way

Each year we support over 3,000 people to the amount of around CHF 1 million. We don’t make regular payments to people: they receive a one-off sum of money.

In particular, we support people when our contribution will help them to avoid the long-term debt and poverty trap.

Finding help

Your donation makes a difference. Your solidarity provides help directly to people in need in Switzerland.

How your donation helps

  • We pay towards the cost of accommodation and moving house
  • We contribute towards health costs, e.g. medical bills, glasses, dentist bills etc.
  • We help out financially when a baby arrives – helping pay for costs related to birth, for clothes and equipment
  • We help towards transport costs, e.g. to ensure childcare
  • We do NOT grant loans.

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A family with two boys having breakfast

"This support is not just a stop-gap for people in need, it is intended to improve their situation long term."
Fabienne Vermeulen, Head of Assistance in Switzerland

Crushing health costs

“Our eldest daughter has been suffering from leukaemia for several months, and is currently being treated in hospital. She has severe side effects that seriously reduce her mobility. As her mother I decided to give up my job in order to be with her during her treatment. Since then, our family has been living on a tight budget. Our youngest daughter has lost her glasses for the second time this year. We manage to cope with the day-to-day costs, but it is very difficult to pay any unexpected bills, since we already have to pay a lot for transport to and from the hospital.” We help to pay the health costs.

Unpayable bills

“I am a workman, and my wife works 60 percent as a waitress. We have two children aged four and ten months. The children go to nursery. When our second child was born we had to move to a new apartment; before that the three of us lived in a two-roomed flat. That meant that we had to pay a rent guarantee. Then there were costs for repairing the car, which we need to drive to work. Because these bills came all at once, we could no longer pay the nursery fees. Thanks to the help from Swiss Solidarity, the children can still go to nursery.” We help with childcare costs.

News

Social assistance in Switzerland in figures since 1983

  • Paid out:

    CHF 38,7 millions

  • People helped:

    85 772