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Hunger relief, sustainable food initiatives will be top priorities at G20, says Italy's Conte

On October 16, 2020, commemorating World Food Day and the 75th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, shared on Twitter that Italy will make anti-hunger and sustainable food initiatives top priorities in the framework of its G20 presidency in 2021.

Conte also promoted the 'Food Coalition', a project spearheaded by Italy through FAO, to tackle the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on agriculture and nutrition.

Conte congratulated the FAO on its anniversary, saying Italy was proud to celebrate the organization in Rome.

Twitter - Giuseppe Conte

Italy pledges additional US$23 million to Gavi COVAX AMC

Italy has committed €20 million (approximately US$23 million) to Gavi Advance Market Commitment for COVID-19 Vaccines (Gavi COVAX AMC).

Previously in June 2020, during the Global Vaccine Summit, Italy pledged US$79 million to COVAX AMC.

With the additional pledge, the total contribution is US$102 million.

Press release - Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance

Global health will be at top of G20 agenda in 2021, says Italy

Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Emanuela Del Re attended the national Festival of Sustainable Development in Rome. In her speech, Del Re announced Italy will be committed to facilitating and promoting multilateral solutions to global health challenges in the framework of the G20 (Group of Twenty, forum for international economic cooperation) presidency next year. She said that strengthening the international response to COVID-19 and building resilient health systems will be among the key priorities for 2021.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

In UNGA speech, Italy's Conte calls for equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccine, gender equality

At the 75th UN General Assembly (UNGA), Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's speech centered on multilateralism and the need for collective action. He also restated the need for equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine globally, as "an international public good".

Conte promised that the Italian G20 presidency in 2021 would bring a "new humanism" to the world which centers the value of human life. According to him, Italy will have the responsibility to lead the world in the complicated process of recovery after the COVID-19 crisis, and it will be fundamental to fight against injustices and inequalities because a more equitable and democratic society will also be more prosperous.

Gender equality and digitalization will be the driving force of inclusive growth. Conte expressed that women have been the most affected by the COVID-19 crisis, but women will also be integral to the recovery strategy.

Speech - Presidency of the Council

Donor Tracker seeks feedback on how to better serve advocacy community

The Donor Tracker team wants to better understand its users' experience and to gather ideas about how we can make the Donor Tracker even more valuable to the global development community throughout the rest of 2020 and beyond. That's where we could use your help. We've put together a short survey to ask you directly about how you use the Donor Tracker, which content and features you find most useful, and the kinds of things you would like to see. Your responses will shape and inform new features that we bring to the website.

Survey - Donor Tracker

Twitter - Donor Tracker

Italy will increase funding to World Food Program in 2020

The Italian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Emanuela del Re, met with the Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP), David Beasley. In their meeting, Del Re expressed appreciation for WFP's work and confirmed Italy's strong support.

Del Re also announced that Italy plans to increase the contribution to WFP for 2020, in particular for the programs run in Italy's priority areas such as Libya and the African Sahel region.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Italian Council of Ministries approves 2019-2021 cooperation guidelines

The Italian Council of Ministries approved the new triennial guidelines document for 2019-2021. The document outlined Italy's cooperation priorities for the coming years; 75% of Italian cooperation resources will be focused on the priority areas given in the document. The remaining 25% will go toward other sectors and debt treatment operations.

The identified priorities are:

  • Food security and nutrition;
  • Health (including health system strengthening, the fight against pandemics, access to immunization, and noncommunicable diseases);
  • Education;
  • Cultural cooperation and protection of cultural heritage;
  • Migration (including strengthening and promoting the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, and facilitating orderly, safe, regular, and responsible migration and mobility of people);
  • Protection of the environment (including management of natural resources, and the fight against climate change);
  • Inclusive and sustainable growth;
  • Fighting against all kind of discrimination;
  • Supporting efforts to promote conflict resolution through peace processes; and
  • Supporting the global partnership for sustainable development.

The document also identified the 22 priority countries for Italian cooperation, given by region:

  • Africa: Egypt, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal, and Mozambique;
  • Middle East:  Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine;
  • Balkans: Albania and Bosnia;
  • Latin America: Cuba and El Salvador; and
  • Asia: Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Pakistan.

Triannual Guideline Document - Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Donor Tracker to host webinar on climate finance and role of ODA

Join the Donor Tracker this Thursday, August 6, 2020, from 16:00-17:00 (CEST), for a webinar addressing the pressing need for international climate finance in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

In 2015, the latest in a series of global climate change agreements was signed in Paris. The Paris Agreement includes a pledge made by donor countries to mobilize US$100 billion a year by 2020 for climate action in LMICs. This upcoming Donor Tracker webinar will examine the role that ODA can and should play in funding for climate action, including the US$100 billion target. It will include an overview of trends in ODA-related climate funding and policies by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) donors.

This webinar, and our recently published report on climate finance and ODA, complements the recent addition of ‘Climate’ as a sector of analysis across the Donor Tracker Donor Profiles. Climate was added this year in recognition of the importance of climate action to the future of global development efforts.

Registration - Zoom

Thirty-five countries support Italian-led COVID-19 Food Coalition

Thirty-five countries, including Argentina, Egypt, the Netherlands, Nigeria, and the United States joined the COVID-19 Food Coalition, an initiative launched in June by the Italian government and lead by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

The alliance is a multi-stakeholder platform focusing on mobilizing political, financial, and technical assistance to support the medium- and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food systems and agriculture.

Article - Onuitalia website (English)

Donor Tracker to host webinar on gender equality and donor finance for women's economic empowerment

Join Donor Tracker this Friday, July 24 from 15:00-16:00 (CEST) for a webinar exploring donor financing for women’s economic empowerment, featuring analysis from the Donor Tracker team and our partner, the ONE Campaign.

Gender equality, including women's financial inclusion and economic empowerment, has gained increasing attention from the international donor community in recent years; but to what extent can donors' rhetorical commitment to the issue be seen reflected in data on donors' financing for women's economic empowerment? In this Donor Tracker webinar, Kalila Jaeger and Isabela Vera from the Donor Tracker and Ebba Henningsson from ONE will guide participants through an introduction to the OECD’s gender equality policy marker, discuss the current state of donor finance for gender-related development programming, and explore trends in donor countries' spending on economic empowerment initiatives for women.

Registration - Zoom

Italy releases cooperation guidelines in response to COVID-19 crisis

After more than two and a half years, the Italian National Council for Development Cooperation (NCDC), the principal advisory body of the Italian development cooperation system, met on July 20, 2020. The meeting was chaired by Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio and attended by representatives from parliament, NGOs, the private sector, and all government administrations involved in development cooperation policy. 

The NCDC validated the Italian cooperation guidelines in response to the COVID 19 crisis in the most vulnerable countries. At both multilateral and bilateral levels, the priorities will be:

  • Strengthening health systems;
  • Supporting research, production, and fair distribution of drugs and vaccines ensuring access to food;
  • Water sanitation; and
  • Gender equality.

In the document, the Italian cooperation body claims to have a coordinated and multilateral response to the COVID-19 emergency. In the framework of the upcoming G20 presidency, Italy has committed to reinforcing the multilateral cooperation to foster a better recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Italian Cooperation Guidelines in Response to the COVID-19 Epidemic - Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (in Italian)

Italy and Spain define common strategy ahead of EU council

In a meeting held in Madrid, Spain, on July 8, 2020, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez defined a common strategy on the EU response to COVID-19, ahead of the European Council meeting scheduled for July 17-18, 2020.

Italy and Spain have agreed upon measures including those pertaining to the European Commission’s recovery plan and the multiannual financial framework (MFF) 2021-2027. Conte and Sánchez will jointly call for a strong European economic response to COVID-19, focusing primarily on those most affected by the pandemic. 


Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

Donor Tracker to host webinar on donors’ international COVID-19 response following Global Goal Summit pledges

On July 2, 2020, from 16:00-17:00 (CEST), Donor Tracker will host a second webinar on donor countries’ international COVID-19 responses following the Global Goal Summit. The Summit, held on June 27, raised US$6.9 billion for developing globally accessible COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments.

The Donor Tracker's expert team will analyze the Summit's outcomes and discuss implications for donor countries’ further international responses to the pandemic.

Registration - Zoom 

New Inter-Institutional Coordination Platform will bring together major stakeholders in Italian global response to COVID-19

The Italian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Emanuela Del Re, has announced the first meeting of the Inter-Institutional Coordination Platform on the Italian Global Response to COVID-19.

The coordination platform will bring together the main Italian actors involved in the global fight against Covid-19. Delegates from the Ministries of Foreign affairs, Health, Treasury, Economic Development, University, and Research and Agriculture will take part, as well as members of the Italian investment bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, members of civil society organizations and universities, research institutions the National Health Institute, and representatives from the pharmaceutical industry.

Italy is interested in the global health impact of COVID-19, but also in the pandemic's socio-economic effects, including implications on the food systems of most vulnerable countries.

Interview- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Italy, Germany, France, and Netherlands sign agreement with British drugmaker for 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in clinical trials

The Inclusive Vaccines Alliance, a group formed by France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, signed a contract with the British drugmaker AstraZeneca to supply up to 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccine, developed by the University of Oxford, is still in clinical trials. If the trial results convince regulators the vaccine is safe and effective, deliveries are expected to start by the end of 2020.

The Italian Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, announced that the vaccine would be distributed for free, starting with the highest-risk groups. Speranza added that a significant part of the production process would take place in Italy.

Press release - Italian Ministry of Health website

At Gavi's Global Vaccine Summit, world leaders exceed funding target with historic US$8.8 billion

Representatives of 52 countries, including 35 heads of state, joined the June 5, 2020, Global Vaccine Summit, convened by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to raise a total of US$8.8 billion in financing for childhood immunizations and vaccine infrastructure. World leaders, meeting with representatives of 12 organizations and corporations for the London-based pledging moment, hoped to reach a US$7.4 billion funding target. By the time the pledging ended, the target had been overshot by US$1.4 billion.

Against the backdrop of a still-raging COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands and laid waste to the global economy, attendees of the summit spoke passionately about the need for global cooperation and solidarity in ensuring that a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, once developed, be accessible to all.

The US$8.8 billion will support Gavi's campaign to vaccinate 300 million children in the world's poorest countries against diseases including diphtheria, polio, and measles by 2025. Disruptions to Gavi's regular immunization activities, caused by COVID-19, have endangered an estimated 80 million children under one year old. The funding will also bolster Gavi's efforts in strengthening health systems in low-income states which have been ravaged by the pandemic and will help build out infrastructure to support the eventual provision of a vaccine against the virus.

A further US$567 million was also raised for 'Gavi Advance Market Commitment for COVID-19 Vaccines' (Gavi Covax AMC), a new financing instrument designed to provide access to the eventual COVID-19 vaccine specifically in low- and middle-income countries.

“To beat the COVID-19 pandemic, the world needs more than breakthrough science. It needs breakthrough generosity,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “...When COVID-19 vaccines are ready, this funding and global coordination will ensure that people all over the world will be able to access them.”

Press release - Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Italy pledges US$314 million at Gavi’s Global Vaccine Summit: 20% increase from 2015 pledge

At the Global Vaccine Summit, convened by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in London on June 4, 2020, Italy pledged €288 million (US$314 million). €120m ($131 million) was allocated as a direct contribution to Gavi for the period 2021-2025, representing a 20% increase over Italy’s previous direct pledge for the 2016 to 2020 period. Italy announced a further €150 million ($164 million) to be paid in equal installments from 2026 to 2030, to Gavi's International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) on top of the previous IFFIM commitment. Italy was represented at the Summit by Prime Minister Conte.

Over the past 20 years, Italy has taken a leading role in launching the first Advance Market Commitment to accelerate the development and availability of pneumococcal vaccines, and it is the largest donor to the AMC. In his London remarks, Conte announced on behalf of all AMC partners that the AMC's financial balance would be allocated to the new Gavi Advance Market Commitment for COVID-19 Vaccines (Gavi Covax AMC).

In his speech, Conte also confirmed that effective multilateralism, international cooperation, and solidarity will be central pillars of Italy’s G20 presidency in 2021.

Speech transcript - Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Italian Health Minister calls for COVID-19 vaccine to be recognized as global public good, made universally accessible

The Italian Minister of health, Roberto Speranza, committed at the World Health Assembly to working to ensure the future COVID-19 vaccine would be recognized as a global public good, accessible to all.

Speranza also confirmed Italy's support of the World Health Organisation (WHO), emphasizing that WHO must remain completely independent of any political or financial influence and it must be guided only by science.

Speech transcript - Il Messaggero (in English)

Italy launches 'Coalition for Food' initiative to combat COVID-19-related food insecurity

The Italian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Emanuela Del Re, in a call with the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development, Anne-Marie Belinda Trevelyan, presented the Coalition for Food initiative.

The initiative aims to mitigate food insecurity exacerbated by the pandemic. The multilateral action will ensure the sustainability and resilience of the agri-food sector during the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Press release - Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Italy's Conte pledges US$155 million to GAVI, CEPI, WHO at Coronavirus Global Response conference

At the EU's Coronavirus Global Response pledging conference, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte pledged €120 million (US$133 million) to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, €10 million (US$11 million) to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and €10 million (US$11 million) to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In his speech, Conte confirmed Italian commitment to global health and emphasized the importance of a multilateral approach to pandemics.

Speech transcript – Il Sole 24 Ore (in English)