The Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291 as a defensive alliance among three cantons. In succeeding years, other localities joined the original three. The Swiss Confederation secured its independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499. A constitution of 1848, subsequently modified in 1874, replaced the confederation with a centralized federal government. Switzerland's sovereignty and neutrality have long been honored by the major European powers, and the country was not involved in either of the two world wars.
Biovision was founded in 1998 by Swiss World Food Prize recipient Dr. Hans Rudolf Herren, with the aim of sustainably improving life for people in Africa while conserving the environment as the basis for all life.
In the 1980s, the world renowned entomologist Hans Rudolf Herren saved millions of people in Africa from starving to death by devising organic control methods for a devastating cassava pest. He was awarded the World Food Prize in 1995 for his work – he is the first, and so far only, Swiss person to have received it.
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.