130+ Italian CSOs request protection plan for migrants against COVID-19

The Italian association for legal studies on migration (ASGI) launched an appeal to the government to develop a protection plan against COVID-19 for vulnerable populations, including migrants, asylum seekers, and the homeless. More than 130 Italian CSOs of different backgrounds joined the call for action launched by ASGI.

ASGI - Call to action


New resource tracking donor funding for COVID-19

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), a US-based non-profit organization focused on health, recently released a centralized compilation of information on donor funding for COVID-19. Their analysis is based on publicly available information and details all funding directed toward the global response to the virus. It excludes spending on domestic response efforts or economic stimulus.

Key findings include:

  • Governments, multilateral organizations, and private funders around the world have so far spent an estimated US$8.3 billion responding to the virus;
  • 91% of funds have come from donor governments, the World Bank, and other multilateral organizations; and
  • The World Bank is the largest donor so far (US$6.0 billion). The US is the second-largest donor (US$1.3 billion), followed by the Tencent/Tencent Charity Foundation (US$215 million), Alibaba (US$144 million), and the European Union (US$140 million).

KFF plans to update the tracker as this global health emergency continues to unfold.

In addition to KFF's work on donor funding for COVID-19, other efforts to provide data-driven information on the outbreak have begun to emerge. Our World in Data's COVID-19 article is a particularly useful resource. Their aim is to help readers make sense of early data on the coronavirus outbreak. The article will continue to be updated as the situation develops.

Report - KFF

ONE highlights need for better data, alongside release of their new gender data dashboard

ONE, a global movement campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030, has joined the growing number of organizations calling attention to the fact that "more funding for gender equality may not be all it seems". Official Development Assistance (ODA) targeting gender equality reached an all-time high of US$45.2 billion in 2018, accounting for 39.4% of ODA. However, closer examinations of the figures recently released by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reveal that challenges remain, especially in terms of the quality of the data available on the state of funding for gender equality in development.

As part of ONE's commitment to back up their advocacy with data-driven tools, they released a new interactive dashboard to explore gender ODA from nine major donors. The tool provides data on how each donor spends gender equality focused development funding, information on their key gender strategies, details on the sectors and income levels that they target, and analysis of how different agencies prioritize gender equality.

Blog post - ONE

Italian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs calls for cooperation at ministerial meeting on migration and development

Italian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Emanuela Del Re, attended the 8th Ministerial Conference of the 5+5 Dialogue in Marrakech on March 1-2, 2020. At the Dialogue, ministers and high representatives discussed strategies for the facilitation of legal migration and the connections between migration and development. Following the conference, Del Re called for further multilateral cooperation to manage migration.

The Western Mediterranean Forum, or 5+5 Dialogue, was established in 1990. It is an informal sub-regional forum made up of five countries from the northern side of the Mediterranean and five from the southern shore. In addition to Del Re, attendees at the meeting in Marrakech included the EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Foreign Affairs Ministers from France, Spain, Portugal, Malta, and representatives from Morocco, Mauritania, Libya, Algeria, and Tunisia.

Press release - Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

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ActionAid report denounces ODA cuts in Italy's 2020 budget

A recent analysis of Italy's 2020 budget by ActionAid Italy, reported that the country's Official Development Assistance (ODA) will be cut by €329 million (US$365 million) compared to 2019. More than 80% of this decrease is due to a reduction of in-country refugee costs and EU contributions.

The downward trend in Italy's spending on international development began in 2018 when ODA fell by €806 million (US$895 million) compared to 2017. Despite an increase in Italy's ODA in 2019, the cuts planned for 2020 will leave the country's ODA below 2017 levels, according to this report.

Report - ActionAid Italy

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Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development presents report on EU member states' SDG progress

The Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS) presented its report 'The European Union and the Sustainable Development Goals' at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. For the first time, ASviS analyzed the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by each EU country.

The European Union has made the most progress of any global region in implementing the 17 UN sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda. However, as an ASviS spokesperson emphasized, the focus must now be on improving coordination of economic, social, and environmental policies at the European level.

Following the presentation of the report, Elisabetta Belloni, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Vice Minister Emanuela Del Re confirmed Italy's commitment the Agenda 2030.

'The European Union and the Sustainable Development Goals' - ASviS

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2019 G-FINDER report breaks down global funding for neglected disease R&D

G-FINDER, an initiative of Policy Cures Research which reports on global health research and development (R&D), has released its 12th annual report, synthesizing data from 2018. The report's data is based on a yearly survey of major funders and developers in the global health R&D sector.

Central findings of the report include:

  • Funding for tools combatting neglected diseases topped US$4 billion-- the highest on record;
  • Global funding for neglected disease R&D increased by US$290 million in 2018, or 7.9%-- the largest funding increase on record and the first time ever that funding increased for three years consecutively;
  • Despite record growth in other areas, funding for the WHO neglected tropical diseases has barely increased over the last decade;
  • HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis (TB) received over two-thirds of all global funding for neglected disease R&D in 2018 (US$2.8 billion, or 69%); and
  • Despite record investment levels (US$2.6 billion), the public sector's share of total funding fell to its lowest ever, due to strong growth from private sector donors.

2019 Annual Report: Uneven Progress - G-FINDER

Di Maio resigns as leader of Italy's 5-Star Movement, but will retain ministerial role

The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luigi Di Maio, has resigned as leader of the Five-Star Movement (M5S), part of Italy’s ruling coalition. Di Maio will retain his position as Foreign Minister. Vito Crimi, a member of the Italian senate, is set to temporarily take over as leader until a party conference in March of 2020.

Di Maio is the latest in a string of more than 15 resignations of Five-Star party members since joining the governing coalition with the center-left Democratic Party (PD) at the end of the summer of 2019. On the same day as Di Maio, two other party members announced they would also step down. Di Maio had received an open letter from 70 senators earlier this year calling for his resignation amid criticisms of power hoarding.

Di Maio was nominated as Minister of Foreign Affairs in September of 2019; he was elected leader of his party in 2017. From 2018- 2019 he served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development, Labor, and Social Policies and from 2013- 2018 as Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies in the XVII Italian legislature.

News article - Politico


Italian NGOs criticize under-funding of international cooperation in 2020-2022 budget

The three major networks of Italian NGOs (AOI, CINI and Link 2007) have denounced the lack of ambitious financial commitment in the 2020-2022 budget bill voted upon by the Italian parliament at the end of December 2019.

Between 2017 and 2018 Italian official development assistance (ODA) decreased from 0.30% in 2017 to 0.23% in 2018; there is no sign of an increase planned for 2020-2022.

AOI, CINI, and Link2007 have asked the government and the parliament for serious commitments to relaunch Italy's action on international development.

News article - Info Cooperazione (in Italian)


European NGO group Concord publishes 2019 Aidwatch Report, denounces second consecutive year of EU assistance spending decreases

Concord, the European NGO confederation for relief and development, has published its 2019 Aidwatch Report. The report analyzed the EU and its member states' development assistance policies and funds.

Although EU still represents the single biggest development donor, with a total investment of €71.9 billion (US$79 billion) in international development assistance in 2018, the EU contribution to the fight against poverty in the world decreased by 5.8% from 2017 to 2018. Italy’s development funding mirrors this negative trend; Italian ODA decreased from 0.30% in 2017 to 0.23% in 2018.

Aidwatch report 2019 – Concord

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