At a glance
Strategic priorities
  • Italy’s development assistance focuses on Africa and on mitigating the root causes of migration and displacement. In October 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted an Italy-Africa Conference and announced increased ODA to support youth and promote economic development on the continent.
  • Italy shows leadership on agriculture, food security, and nutrition. These were central topics in Italy’s G7 presidency in 2017. Italy also maintains close relationships with the United Nations’ (UN) Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
  • In 2021, Italy will host the G20 Summit, where a focus will be energy. In 2017, the energy sector received a large increase in bilateral contributions, from US$11 million in 2016 to US$143 million in 2017.

For further details on methodology, see our Donor Tracker Codebook.

Key opportunities
  • Emanuela Del Re, deputy minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, has stated that Italy’s current focus is to strengthen bilateral development cooperation.
  • Both the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and the Italian Bank of Deposits and Loans (Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, CDP) are pillars of this re-orientation: AICS has increased its staff from 200 to 240 to boost capacity for project implementation, and CDP – acting as a development finance institution – is boosting Italy’s investment through loans, equities, and innovative finance.
  • Addressing issues that drive migration from Africa to Europe – e.g., food security and nutrition, health, and women’s’ empowerment – will remain a top focus. A large part of ODA will also likely continue to be spent on hosting refugees in Italy, leading ODA to remain at elevated levels in the coming years.