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SDC at a Glance






The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is Switzerland’s international cooperation agency within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). In operating with other federal offices concerned, SDC is responsible for the overall coordination of development activities and cooperation with Eastern Europe, as well as for the humanitarian aid delivered by the Swiss Confederation.

The goal of development cooperation is that of reducing poverty. It is meant to foster economic self-reliance and state autonomy, to contribute to the improvement of production conditions, to help in finding solutions to environmental problems, and to provide better access to education and basic healthcare services.

  • Swiss Cooperation with Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) supports democratic and market economy reforms in partner countries of Southeast Europe and the former Soviet Union. The main concerns in providing this transition assistance are the building of democratic institutions, the reform of health and social services, and the improvement of the environment. Since 2008, Switzerland has been providing a so-called Enlargement Contributionto the new EU Member States so as to help reduce the social and economic disparities within the enlarged EU.
  • Regional Cooperation steers SDC’s bilateral cooperation with countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In reducing the number of its priority countries from the previous 17 to 12, and the number of its special programmes from 7 to 6, SDC continues its geographic concentration of activities. At the end of 2009, SDC withdrew from Ecuador. The programmes being conducted in India, Bhutan, Pakistan, Peru, and North Korea will, by 2012, either be terminated or given a new focus. The regional development banks are also considered as key partners in the domain of regional cooperation.

  • Global Cooperation is primarily active in the multilateral domain, cooperating with the organizations of the UN system and with the World Bank. By fostering global programmes in the domain of climate change, food security, water and migration, global cooperation makes its contribution to tackling global challenges. 

  • Humanitarian Aid aims at saving lives and alleviating suffering. Direct relief is provided in the wake of natural disasters and in the context of armed conflicts, while humanitarian partner organizations can be the recipients of both manpower and financial support. The core domains of intervention are prevention, emergency aid and survival assistance, reconstruction, and advocacy for the causes of forgotten humanitarian crises. Swiss humanitarian aid is active in 9 regions.

  Swiss Development Cooperation South Caucasus 

ADC at a Glance


Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) supports countries in Africa, Asia, South-Eastern and Eastern Europe in their sustainable development. The Foreign Ministry of Austria (FMEIA) plans ADC strategies and programmes. The Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the operational unit of ADC, implements these together with public institutions, non-governmental organisations and enterprises.

In its cooperation with South Caucasus countries Armenia and Georgia, the Austrian Development Agency concentrates on agriculture and forestry to generate income, create jobs and raise local content. Austria’s engagement is primarily aimed at poverty reduction in the border regions between the two countries, where a major theme is also conflict prevention; the others are good governance and decentralization.

The motivation behind reform efforts in the countries of South Caucasus is the prospect of closer cooperation with the EU. The majority of the population is still struggling with severe poverty and high unemployment. Population groups in this multi-lingual and multi-ethnic region are frequently mutually distrustful and harbour deep-seated prejudices against each other. General problems that need addressing are poor infrastructure, untapped potential in industrial sectors, extremely small-scale agriculture, barriers in transport and business and industry, corruption and political and territorial conflicts. 

Austrian Development Agency

LATEST NEWS
The Georgian Beekeepers Union Celebrates Three Years Anniversary
20/12/2021
On December 20th, the Georgian Beekeepers Union (GBU) hosted an event to celebrate its third anniversary inviting key honey sector stakeholders to Hualing Tbilisi Sea Plaza.  Since 2018, the honey sector has seen huge gains under the auspices of the GBU, which is leading efforts to remove pervasive constraints to growth such as the widespread use of prohibited antibiotics and performing the role of non-governmental national representative of the honey sector. The GBU’s three years of extensive work resulted in increased honey quality, more effective governmental advocacy, better vocational education in beekeeping, including, Jara teaching, available information and trainings for beekeepers, promotion and improved image of Georgian honey at the Apimondia Congress and London Honey Awards, all that paving way for an increase of honey export.    ‘There are some major developments in improving honey testing capacity, increasing awareness of Georgian honey, and opening of new export markets. The comprehensive laboratory analysis, before carried abroad, is now available in Georgia, which resulted in decreasing transaction costs.’ – Giorgi Khanishvili, the First Deputy Minister of the Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA).    ‘We were able to achieve significant improvements during these three years. We are continuing cooperation with the government and other honey stakeholders to ensure production of safe and quality honey.’ – Aleko Papava, the Executive Director of the GBU.  Photo source: The MEPA
Jara Enters the Qatar Market
19/12/2021
Nena Jara honey, along with other types of Georgian honey, found its place on the Georgian honey corner opened at the SPAR supermarket branch in Tawar Mall, the largest shopping mall in Doha, Qatar. Georgian honey corner will be opened in every branch of the SPAR chain. The process is backed by the Embassy of Georgia to the State of Qatar. The ALCP facilitated the export of Jara honey. Local influential media AI Raya dedicated a comprehensive article to Georgian honey with a special highlight on Georgian beekeeping characteristics and traditional Jara.   The Qatar market seems promising. The Embassy’s previous facilitation for approval of a VET certificate, an essential requirement for honey export, has contributed to a 255% increase of Georgian honey export to Qatar in 2021 compared to 2020. The same figure saw a 350% boost in 2020.  Photo source: The Embassy of Georgia to the State of Qatar
Sharing of Agricultural Education Experience with Azerbaijanis Colleagues
12/11/2021
The Journalism Resource Centre (JRC), in partnership with the Society of Women for Rational Development in Azerbaijan (WARD), hosted a study visit of media and educational institution representatives of Azerbaijan. Agri-journalism students and lecturers at Caucasus International University shared agricultural journalism teaching practices. In Kakheti, they visited the farm of Beka Gonashvili, Head of the Georgian Shepherds Association, farmer, and entrepreneur.  They also visited Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking to see their Jara honey and wine production and the dairy Leanka in Dedeplitskaro.  The importance of education and information for farmers and producers and their cooperation with agricultural media was emphasized. Beka Gonashvili emphasized the importance of providing quality information to farmers and producers. He is both a blogger and a farmer, so he is regularly publishing useful agriculture-related posts. The female owner of Leanka dairy talked about how the enterprise is ensuring the quality and how media is playing a significant role in this. At Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking Company particpants saw wine and Jara honey production and their export and how the Georgian Beekeepers Union is advocating the interests of honey sector representatives and supporting the awareness raising of beekeepers, such as through the national information campaign - Do’s and Don’ts of Antibiotic Use. Participants also watched a report about Jara Honey by Al Jazeera and Jara the Movie. ‘We will all together will work well for expansion the teaching of agricultural Journalism in Azerbaijan’ – Natia Kuprashvili, the Head of the JRC. The Society Women for Rational Development (WARD) in partnership with the JRC is going to prepare a course of agricultural communication based on the study visit and share it with educational institutions in Azerbaijan. Please see the related links: a textbook of Constructive Agricultural Journalism and video lessons added to this textbook.
LATEST PUBLICATIONS
MONITORING, EVALUATION, AND LEARNING POLICY
A Gendered National Honey Sector Survey in Georgia
GENDER EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND SOCIAL INCLUSION STRATEGY (2020-2023)