GENEVA — Switzerland has developed into one of the world’s wealthiest countries, but during the 19th century, the country struggled as the poorest country in continental Europe. As time progressed, Switzerland continued to revolutionize and grow its population to its current eight million people. As one of the most prosperous countries in the world, poverty in Switzerland continues to affect many regions of this successful country.
In 2012, 7.7 percent of the nation, roughly one in 13 residents, lived below the poverty line. Although this number may be low in comparison to other European nations, those who are continuing to struggle hope to reap the benefits of the country’s unremitting success.
As one of the most expensive countries in the continent, the poverty line in Switzerland is 2,200 francs ($2,466) per month for a single person. Several factors, including high rent and expensive private insurance, make it difficult for individuals and families living in poverty to deal with expected bills, take time off work or put enough food on the table.
In a 2014 report by the Federal Statistics Office, it stated that the groups that are most impacted by poverty are single-parent families, people without a college education and foreigners from non-European countries.
As a native of Switzerland, Roger Federer is recognized as one of the best tennis players in the world, but his philanthropic efforts do not go unnoticed. Federer has aimed to empower children in struggling countries to develop their knowledge in order to escape the conditions that distress their country, including the poverty in Switzerland. The Roger Federer Foundation has been engaging in education programs for children living in poverty in Africa and Switzerland.
In working with local organizations, the foundation has sought to bring change to those who are suffering and make a lasting impact on millions of lives. In 2016, 16 programs were financially supported with $6.3 million, and as of today, more than $29 million has been invested in the education of 650,000 children in several countries, Switzerland included.
Alongside these endeavors, Switzerland has seen promising results in alleviating poverty throughout the country, with only 6.6 percent of the population living in poverty today. With continued economic, political and social success, Switzerland hopes to alleviate the hardships and struggles felt across the thriving nation.
– Brandon Johnson