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Italian NGOs publish open letter criticizing disengagement from international cooperation

On August 4, 2019, the three biggest Italian NGO networks AOI, CINI, and Link 2007 published an open letter addressed to the minister and the vice minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Enzo Moavero Milanesi and Emanuela Del Re. The CSOs denounced Italian disengagement in international cooperation and ask Moavero Milanesi and Del Re to act before it is too late. Their letter drew attention to and criticized the following points:

  1. The delay in staff recruitment for the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS); many key positions are still vacant.
  2. The postponement of the call for proposals on Global Citizenship Education for 2019.  
  3. The functioning of the National Council for Development Cooperation, which they recommend improving through regular convocation, increased contributions from working groups, and expansion of representation.
  4. The decrease of resources for NGOs leading projects on international cooperation from €70 to €26.4 million. 
  5. The increasing militarization of development funding that couples development initiatives with security priorities.

News article - Repubblica (in Italian)

Italy

Italy pledges €300,000 for DRC Ebola emergency

On July 16, 2019, at the high-level meeting on the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Italy's vice minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Emanuela Del Re, pledged €300,000 (US$340,000) to support the WHO's operations in the North Kivu and Ituri regions to combat the epidemic. 

Press release - Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Press release - WHO

Italy Global health

Italy agrees to wide-ranging €78 million package of development assistance

On July 10, 2019, the Italian Joint Committee on Development Cooperation, chaired by the vice minister of foreign affairs Emanuela del Re, agreed to a package of initiatives worth €78 million (US$88 million). €50 million will be allocated to complete the consolidation works on the Mosul Dam in Iraq. The rest of the approved resources are intended to fund projects in Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Colombia as well as United Nations Agencies' cross-cutting programs.

Website- Ministry of Foreign affairs and International Cooperation (in Italian)

Italy

Over half of G7 spending for education goes to achieving gender equality

UNESCO's Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report has shown that 55% of spending by the G7 on education projects is earmarked for initiatives that strive to eradicate gender inequalities in schooling.

France, who currently holds the G7 presidency, is the second-largest donor, at 76%, after Canada at 92%. The analysis was part of a broader examination by UNESCO and GEM examining donor allocations to gender parity in education. The report gives recommendations for countries to equalize access to education between the genders, which include the following:

  1. Fighting negative gender norms through coed sports or extracurricular activities that allow children of all genders to engage with one another, and encouraging girls to participate in STEM activities;
  2. Increasing equitable access to education through conditional cash transfers, food for education initiatives, second-chance programs and strong technical and vocational training for women in key industries;
  3. Strengthening teaching and learning resources through the revision of curriculum frameworks to help develop gender-responsive toolkits for teachers, and the provision of financial incentives for female teachers in remote locations;
  4. Improving the learning environment through the development of local community learning centers and the legal frameworks and codes of conduct, and the enforcement of minimum standards on water and sanitation.

Blog post - UNESCO World Education Blog

Building Bridges for Gender Equality report - Global Education Monitoring

Italy hosts conference on humanitarian corridors to combat human trafficking

On July 1, 2019, the Italian parliament hosted the conference on 'Humanitarian Corridors for a Supportive Europe'. Deputy foreign minister Emanuela Del Re referred to humanitarian corridors as an “intelligent and virtuous response representing a reasonable and collaborative model to manage migration flows instead of constantly reacting to emergencies," noting that they also help combat human trafficking.

The Humanitarian Corridors project has brought about 2,500 refugees and highly vulnerable people to Italy since 2015 through a reception and integration program set up by civil society associations.  The project complies with Italian law and involves international organizations such as the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, the International Organization for Migration, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Policy paper - Sant’Egidio (in Italian)

Italy

Global Fund executive director meets key Italian stakeholders in Rome

On June 25, Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (the Global Fund) had several meetings in Rome with key institutional stakeholders, including Italian senators, NGO representatives, and the deputy minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation.

Sands took part in an event at the Italian Senate with the support of the NGOs AIDOS (whose work focuses on the empowerment of women and girls), ACTION Global Health Advocacy Partnership, and the Italian Network on Global health. Senator Petrocelli, president of the Foreign Commission of the Senate and Senator Alfieri, who organized the event, called on senate members to continue bipartisan support of the Global Fund.

AIDOS, ACTION, and the Italian Network on Global health presented a policy paper on Italy, and Sands asked the Italian senate to increase its  financial commitment to the Global Fund by 15%; that is, from 140 to 161 million for the period 2020 to 2022, in line with the overall increase that the Fund considers necessary to effectively counteract HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Sands later met the deputy minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Emanuela Del Re to further discuss Italy's contributions and to emphasize the importance of the Global Fund's investments in fragile countries and in countries of origin and transit of Europe-bound migrants. The deputy minister and Sands afterward received a delegation of 'young ambassadors' from the organization ONE, who presented a campaign for an increase of the Italian contribution to the Global Fund.

News article - Nove Colonne (in Italian)

Press release - Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (in Italian)

Italy Global health

Italy announces €2 million grant to protect migrant minors in Libya

The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced a €2 million grant from the Africa Fund to UNICEF to fund projects on migrant minors' protection in Libya.

The project authorizes the creation of shelters for vulnerable youth in Tripoli and calls for the provision of medical supplies to improve health and hygiene conditions, as well as the improvement of health facilities and water sanitation.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Italy

Italy falls to 20th place of DAC countries in the 2017 Principled Aid Index rankings

The UK think tank Overseas Development Institute (ODI) released on June 3, 2019 an analysis of the Principled Aid Index. The Index ranks bilateral Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors by how they use their official development assistance (ODA) to pursue their long-term national interest in a safer and more sustainable, prosperous world; Italy was given 20th place.

Italy's rankings have fallen in recent years, from 18th place in 2015 to 21st in 2016, with a rebound to 20th in 2017. This decline can be attributed to the drop in performance at the 'needs' dimension, where Italy's score fell sharply from 17th in 2015 to 23rd in 2017 across indicators that measured support for displaced populations and gender equality.

Country rankings- Principled Aid Index

Analysis - Open Cooperazione (in Italian) 

Italy

WHO agrees on Italian resolution on transparency in drug costs

On May 28th, 2019, World Health Organization (WHO) members agreed by consensus to adopt the draft of a  resolution on improving the transparency of markets for drugs, vaccines and other health-related technologies. This resolution had been originally proposed by Italy in February 2019, an Italian representatives worked to build support among WHO member states. This effort was conducted jointly by the Minister of Health, the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA), the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and civil society. The agreed upon text of the resolution “urges member states in accordance with their national and regional legal frameworks and contexts” to make  information on net prices public, and to support dissemination, availability and overall transparency of procurement price data. The final resolution stopped short, though, of empowering WHO to collect and analyze concrete data on drug manufacturer's production costs, which had been the central aim of earlier drafts of the resolution.

News article - Reuters

Italy Global health R&D

G20 finance and health ministers to collaborate to promote UHC

With the goal of achieving universal health coverage (UHC) in all countries and establishing a sustainable health finance system, the government of Japan will host a group of 20 (G20) Finance Ministers and Health Ministers' Joint Meeting as an official side event to the G20 Osaka Summit, to held on June 28-29, 2019.

Press release - Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (in Japanese)

News article - Japan Times