Strategic priorities
  • Due to its position on the frontline of the refugee crisis, Italy emphasizes tackling the root causes of migration from Africa to Europe. This will be a key focus of Italy’s G7 presidency in 2017. Italy also shows leadership on agriculture and food security and nutrition, maintaining close relationships with the UN’s Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
  • Italy recently overhauled its development cooperation system, establishing its first-ever development agency (AICS) and the first Italian development finance institution (CDP) in January 2016. This is expected to strengthen Italy’s capacities around development cooperation.
Key opportunities
  • Italy will hold the G7 presidency in 2017. Priorities of the ministerial meetings and the summit will include food security and nutrition and women’s empowerment; it will likely launch a new initiative focused on food security and nutrition. At the same time, the Italian government aims at addressing issues that drive migration from Africa to Europe. The G7 presidency is also an opportunity to ensure that Italy meets its pledge to increase ODA to 0.3% of GNI by 2020. 
  • The creation of Italy’s new development agency (AICS) and new development finance institution (CDP) present an opportunity to shape Italy’s development agenda, as priorities and funding mechanisms are not yet fully defined. AICS’s budget is expected to increase from €292 million in 2016 to €532 million in 2018. These funds have not yet been firmly allocated, which provides an opportunity to influence funding.

Key Questions

the big six

In Kabul, Italian funds help to improve the capacity and service delivery of hospitals. Afghanistan received the largest share of Italy’s bilateral ODA between 2012 and 2014.

Italy

Outlook

How will Italy's ODA develop? — What will Italy’s ODA focus on? — What are key opportunities for shaping Italy’s development policy? read more

How will Italian ODA develop?

  • Italy’s ODA is likely to further increase in the coming years, driven by the government’s will to strengthen Italy’s role internationally. Government has committed to reaching a 0.3% ODA/GNI share by 2020. The budget of Italy’s new development agency, AICS, is set to increase from €292 million in 2016 to €532 million in 2018. 
  • Costs for hosting refugees in Italy are likely to remain at a high level given the ongoing high numbers of refugees arriving in Italy from Northern Africa. As Italy reports part of these costs as ODA, this will likely continue to considerably ‘inflate’ Italy’s ODA in the coming years.

What will Italy’s ODA focus on?

  • Migration will remain a top focus as long as the numbers of asylum seekers arriving in Italy remain at a high level. Addressing issues that drive migration from Africa to Europe will be at the core of Italy’s G7 presidency agenda in 2017. As part of tackling the root causes of migration, Italy will likely launch new initiatives aimed at improving food security and nutrition, health, and women’s empowerment.
  • Italy plans to strengthen its engagement around innovative development financing through its new development bank. This will also include the use of blending mechanisms to increase the involvement of and investments by the for-profit private sector in development. 

What are key opportunities for shaping Italy’s development policy?

  • Italy’s G7 presidency in 2017 is a key opportunity for advocates to call for global development to be high on the G7 agenda, particularly as Italy is expected to place a focus on tackling the root causes of migration. Development-related priorities of its G7 presidency are likely to include food security and nutrition, health, and women’s empowerment, featured in high-level meetings throughout 2017.
  • Italy’s elections are expected to take place sometime by May 2018, which may reshuffle leadership positions and development-related priorities. It will offer a key opportunity to advocate for global development to remain high on the political agenda.