As the host of UNHCR’s headquarters, and a generous and flexible supporter throughout the years, Switzerland is one of UNHCR’s key governmental partners.
Flexible and predictable multi-year support from Switzerland ensures that vital resources are available to UNHCR, especially in underfunded operations. Switzerland also supports UNHCR’s work through emergency deployments of expert staff from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) providing technical advice in the fields of protection, shelter, cash assistance, water, sanitation and hygiene as well as the deployment of Junior Professional Officers (JPOs). In 2021, the SDC and UNHCR launched the Geneva Technical Hub, a flagship project lifting our technical cooperation in areas such as energy, environment, shelter and WASH to a new and unprecedented level, and one of Switzerland’s pledges at the High-Level Officials Meeting. The Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) provides targeted financial contributions that help strengthen UNHCR's asylum support and protection activities in refugee hosting countries such as Greece or Libya. The SEM also seconds staff to UNHCR.
Switzerland is also a key resettlement partner for UNHCR, providing life-saving opportunities for refugees fleeing persecution and conflict. Since the Swiss resettlement program resumed in 2013, more than 5,850 refugees have been resettled to Switzerland. As a member of UNHCR’s Advisory Committee since 1951, and a founding member of the governing Executive Committee (ExCom) since 1959, Switzerland has shown a long-term commitment to forcibly displaced people. Switzerland hosted the Global Refugee Forum in December 2019, co-hosted the High-Level Officials Meeting in 2021 and it co-finances and is home to the annual UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award ceremony.