Two years after the devastating natural disaster in summer 2005, Swiss Solidarity can present a very positive balance: CHF 44.167 million (89% of donations) has already been distributed. CHF 4.7 million has been awarded to individuals, families and small businesses. The lion’s share (CHF 39.5 million) has gone to over 100 smaller, financially-weak municipalities in ten cantons, thus primarily helping people in mountain communities. CHF 5.3 million has been allocated for cases still pending, follow-up projects and a small reserve fund. Swiss Solidarity’s national fund-raising day at the end of August 2005 brought in donations of over CHF 49 million.
These funds are now largely exhausted, having been used for assistance in cases of hardship and subsidiary aid (after payouts from insurances and other benefits) to private persons, small and family businesses, non-profit-oriented institutions and smaller, financially-weak municipalities. Several applications for assistance can first be settled in the coming months because of on-going clarifications and pending procedures.
Specialists from the partner organizations Caritas and the Swiss Red Cross are handling applications on behalf of Swiss Solidarity. This teamwork, which is well tried and tested, is governed by a special convention and enables swift and unbureaucratic assistance. As one example, in urgent cases advance payments can be made and later settled through definite benefits provided by other sources. At cantonal and district levels, the work mainly involves special donation commissions which ensure the appropriate distribution of funds and coordination of payments.
Swiss Solidarity once again wishes to offer its heartfelt thanks to all donors, as well as all experts and volunteers who helped to ease the aftermath of this national disaster.