The Schnyder von Wartensee Foundation

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad administers the Foundation in Aid of Swiss Citizens living Abroad who are victims of natural disasters (The Schnyder von Wartensee Foundation).



This Foundation was created in 1950 by Charles Schnyder von Wartensee, former Chairman of the Swiss National Bank, who had managed a fund of donations and public collections on behalf of Swiss disaster victims in the Center of France twenty years earlier on a voluntary basis.



The Foundation was set up to give grants without security to help meet the needs of Swiss citizens living abroad who are victims of natural disasters. The main aim is to provide emergency relief and render the immediate aftermath of the disaster more bearable. This aid should be considered as a small contribution towards reconstruction.


Assistance from the Foundation is available to Swiss citizens living abroad who are registered with a Swiss embassy or consulate. Dual-nationals may also apply. This assistance is conceived as a gesture of solidarity to provide relief for Swiss abroad experiencing distressing living conditions following natural disasters. Under no circumstances does the Foundation function as an insurance company and can on no account finance the loss of earnings due to the loss of economic activity, nor re-establish economic activity.


However, if the latter is closely linked with the victims' personal predicament, the Foundation will bear this in mind in its appreciation of the case.


How to apply

Natural disaster victims may apply for aid at the competent Swiss embassy or consulate in their place of residence no later than 6 months following the disaster. The organisation of the Swiss abroad forwards the embassy or consulate an application form to fill in for this purpose. The case file should contain the following specifications: application form, a description of the damage, a financial estimation of the damage, the purpose of the aid requested, a description of present family status, a description of the financial situation, details of any assistance received from other organisations (public, private) and/or insurance cover, a declaration that the facts listed are exact. The official Swiss representative will then forward the case file, as well as its opinion, to the Board at the Foundation for decision.