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Right-wing coalition wins national elections in Italy

The right-wing coalition received the highest share of votes (around 44%) in the national elections that took place in Italy on September 25, 2022.

Current projections suggest the coalition will comprise 115 senators (out of 200 seats) and 237 deputies (out of 400 seats) in the new Parliament. A coalition of this size will likely be able to govern the country with relative political stability during the next 5 years, although it will lack the strength to carry out constitutional reforms.

With more than 26% of votes, Giorgia Meloni, leader of the conservative party called Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia), is likely to become the first female prime minister in the history of the Italian Republic. The team of Ministers will be announced by early October 2022, and the two chambers of the parliament will convene for the first time on October 13, 2022.

The new coalition will have important challenges to cope with in the immediate short-term. The coalition will have to present a draft Budget Law for 2023 by October 20, 2022, which will then be transmitted to the members of the Parliament, and approved by December 31, 2022. Second, the coalition will have to achieve a series of targets (i.e. reforms) to unlock more than 21 billion (US$22 billion) of EU funds.

The implications of the new coalition for Italian development policy remain uncertain, though the government's response to two issues may indicate future trends. First, it should not be taken for granted that the Government will appoint a new Vice Minister with a specific portfolio on development cooperation, a key decision that will inevitably shape the country’s development cooperation policy. Second, the coalition's action when called to confirm or scale down the commitments made by former Prime Minister Draghi on several multilateral initiatives on key topics like food security or global health (e.g. the replenishment of COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) or the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria) will be telling. 

In the aftermath of the election, CSOs warn that development cooperation may play a very limited role in the agenda of the right-wing coalition Government. The risk is that most of the attention will be devoted to migration and asylum policy to the detriment of other development cooperation targets, such as the promise to increase the resources allocated to ODA. 

News article - Politico

News article - U.S. News

Italy and Caribbean Development Bank sign US$53 million agreement to support sustainable development

On September 19, 2022, during the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Italy and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) reached an agreement to provide US$50 million in ODA credits to support sustainable development projects in Caribbean countries.

Specifically, the 'Programme supporting sustainable development projects in Caribbean Community countries' will provide US$50 million in ODA credits and a US$3 million donation from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) to Caribbean Community partner countries including Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.

The resources will be allocated by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and will support a wide range of development projects dealing with climate change and infrastructure in the following sectors: agriculture, energy, management of coastal zones and water resources, transport, social housing, and healthcare.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Italian NGO network publishes development priorities ahead of September elections

CINI, a network of seven international NGOs based in Italy, issued a joint statement on September 14, 2022, urging the political parties to prioritize the following development cooperation objectives ahead of the September 25, 2022, election:

  1. Increasing the resources allocated to Italy’s development cooperation, meeting the international 0.7% GNI/ODA target by 2030, reaching 0.5% by 2027, and prioritizing support to low- and middle-income countries while finding alternative funding sources for migration and asylum policies;
  2. Boosting the quality of Italy’s development cooperation through better planning, monitoring, and policy coherence;
  3. Mainstreaming gender equality across Italy’s humanitarian and development cooperation efforts, and further integrating gender equity into Italy’s foreign policy;
  4. Investing in preventive mechanisms and tools to build local capacity for countering future crises through investment in health systems, education programs, and social protection of the most vulnerable groups;
  5. Promoting a new external migration policy based on human rights protection and removing funding for repatriation programs from the budget, which received US$10 million in 2022; and 
  6. Supporting the fight against climate change through equitable ecological transitions domestically and abroad that reduce inequalities and actively engage young people. 

Report - CINI (in Italian)

Italian CSOs present action plan to political parties ahead of September elections

On September 7, 2022, the European Third Sector Forum, composed of more than 101 Italian CSOs, organized a panel with representatives from all political parties running for national elections on September 25, 2022.

During the meeting, CSOs presented a six-point action plan to revamp social policy, prioritizing a more robust welfare state, reducing inequality, a novel approach to foreign policy and development cooperation, and new investment in human and social capital. The plan consisted of six main action points:

  1. Tackling multidimensional poverty and socio-economic inequalities by investing in education and health systems;
  2. Investing in equitable energy- and digital transitions;
  3. Supporting welfare systems, especially the National Recovery and Resilience Plan;
  4. Preserving peace by immediately stopping the war in Ukraine and increasing resources for development cooperation by meeting the 0.7% ODA/GNI target by 2030;
  5. Boosting cohesion and citizen participation, through programs to involve 100,000 younger citizens to take part in the national volunteer civil service; and
  6. Empowering CSOs of all sizes through government spending.

The CSOs asserted that these measures would be crucial to supporting the transition towards a more equitable country. CSOs play an outsized role in Italy, employing more than 860,000 workers and engaging over 5 million volunteers, and are crucial to realizing new models of socio-economic development based on social cohesion and innovation. 

Report  Forum del Terzo Settore (in Italian)

Archi appointed Italian UN Permanent Representative in Rome

Bruno Archi was appointed as the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in Rome on September 5, 2022.

Italy's Permanent Representative to the UN Rome hub leads negotiations with and within the UN food security organizations such as Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP). Furthermore, the Permanent Representative works closely with Bioversity International (BI) and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) based in Rome.

In addition, Archi will represent Italy at the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Brindisi, which works closely with food security UN agencies in Rome.

Archi has served as Diplomatic Adviser in the Prime Minister's Office and Special Representative for Balkan Reconstruction. In addition, he was a Member of Parliament from 2013 - 2018 and Deputy Foreign Minister during Enrico Letta's government from 2013 - 2014.

Twitter – Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Italian CSOs urge government to finalize common agricultural policy strategic plan

On September 5, 2022, 17 Italian CSOs issued a joint statement asking the Italian government to revive and conclude discussions regarding the country's Strategic Plan on the common agricultural policy (CAP).

The EU's CAP program is designed to strengthen the relationship between agriculture and society with a strong focus on farmers. In 2021, the EU decided to reform the CAP; countries will implement new strategic plans on January 1, 2023. 

While seven European countries (Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, and Spain) have already received approval from the European Commission, the Italian Ministry of Agriculture has not submitted its revised plan.

In the statement, the CSOs asked the government to share its revised plan. The CSOs additionally called upon the government to address the European Commission's 40 pages of feedback through collaboration with all relevant CSOs at both the national and local levels, a crucial step to ensuring Italy’s agricultural strategy aligns with broader environmental goals set in the EU’s Green Deal, Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, and Farm to Fork Strategy.

The Ministry of Agriculture promised that the new Strategic Plan will be submitted to the European Commission by the end of September 2022. 

Press release  Cambiamo Agricoltura (in Italian)

Italy allocates US$216 million to support health multilaterals

The latest Law Decree, approved in early August 2022, created a new fund worth nearly US$216 million under the Ministry of Finance to support health multilaterals.

The new fund will support Italy’s participation in the new World Bank-led Financial Intermediary Fund to prevent, prepare, and respond to future pandemics with a US$108 million contribution for 2022. In addition, US$108 million will be allocated in 2022 to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to procure vaccines for low- and middle-income countries through COVAX’s Advance Market Commitment (AMC).

Legislation - Italian Government (in Italian)

Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development calls on political parties to address sustainable transition

The Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS), funded in 2016 to promote debate and raise awareness of sustainable development in Italy, has presented a list of 10 priorities to the major political parties who will run in the next early elections in September 2022. Among them, ASviS has called on all parties to include these priorities in their political programs to achieve the UN Agenda 2030 targets. Among them, the Alliance has asked to:

  1. Ensure that public investments are used to achieve the SDGs, in line with the 'National Strategy on Sustainable Development,' as well as the 'National Recovery and Resilience Plan;' 
  2. Create a public research center able to assess future needs and draw scenarios to reduce vulnerabilities to external shocks;
  3. Consolidate reforms and ensure more transparent analyses assessing the impacts of national and local policies on sustainability targets;
  4. Reform parliamentary committees with the aim of creating horizontal working groups on sustainable development in both parliament chambers;
  5. Strengthen local strategies for sustainable development; 
  6. Prioritize a fair and just ecological transition with the aim to achieve a 55% reduction in greenhouses gas (GHG) emissions by 2030;
  7. Reduce inequalities by tackling the gender divide, youth unemployment, and the 'North-South divide;'
  8. Reform the welfare system to tackle poverty, improve education and ensure that everyone has access to public services;
  9. Integrate the 'One Health' approach in all domestic policies, boosting the country's capacity to tackle current and future health crises, as well as the world's capacity to monitor, prevent, and eradicate emerging epidemics; and 
  10. Support multilateralism by reaching the 0.7% ODA/GNI target.

Report - Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (in Italian)

Italy allocates US$40 million to stabilize migration flows triggered by food security crisis

Italy allocated US$40 million to stabilize migration flows triggered by the food security crisis in the North African, Sahel, and West African regions. 

The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched a package of interventions worth US$40 million under its 'Migration Fund' to address increasing migration flows triggered by the global food security crisis, which has significantly affected those in the North African, Sahel, and West African regions.

These initiatives will be carried out in strategically important countries for Italy’s migration policy, such as Libya, Niger, and countries in the Sahel; they will serve to counter human trafficking and human rights violations in those areas. The interventions will also be coupled with other projects, which will be rolled out in West African countries such as Nigeria and the Ivory Coast to strengthen local capacities to handle migration flows.

News article - Onu Italia

Italy strengthens UNICEF support in Djibouti

Italy allocated US$1 million to support UNICEF’s activities in Djibouti. The donation will be funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and will be carried out in the next 24 months to prevent violence against children and facilitate access to basic services for the most vulnerable households.

Italy will also support UNICEF and the government in Djibouti to decentralize its judiciary system and provide stronger protection for other fragile groups within the population such as migrants, internally displaced persons, and child victims of various forms of exploitation. 

News article - Italian Agency for Development Cooperation

Italian Joint Development Cooperation Committee reveals development fundraising outcomes

Italian Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Marina Sereni chaired the fifth meeting of the Joint Development Cooperation Committee.

During the meeting, the Committee approved Italian funding for the World Bank, the International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) to support rural development projects in Tunisia, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), to support a project in Syria to support victims of gender violence. The Committee also gave the green light to support a project on responsible business through the UN Global Compact and unlocked resources to be used by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti to carry out three initiatives in the Balkans and Africa.

The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation also presented four briefings. The first outlined the outcome of the 2020 call for contributions to CSO-promoted initiatives, which received approximately US$190 million. The second detailed the US$22 million in raised funds as a result of the 2021 call for contributions to initiatives to raise awareness of global citizenship. The third gave an overview of initiatives recently approved by the Director of the Agency; and, finally, the Committee announced the adoption of a “Gender Glossary” to promote knowledge of terms related to gender equality and the empowerment of women, girls, and children in cooperation initiatives. 

The Vice Minister also provided information on the initiatives financed through the Migration Fund by the Directorate General for Italian Citizens Abroad and Migration Policies.

News article - Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs(in Italian)

Italy on verge of early elections as fractures in coalition deepen

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, inspired by public support for his leadership, signaled that he would not resign despite tendering his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella on July 14, 2022, in response to cracks in his coalition government. Draghi, former head of the European Central Bank (ECB), is the unelected head of the broad unity coalition; despite being appointed, the Italian public mobilized behind Draghi and called for the coalition to survive. 

Draghi offered his resignation, which Mattarella refused, when the populist Five Star Movement triggered a political crisis by withholding support in a vote on spending priorities. The decree in question was worth €15 billion (US$15 billion) and contained several domestic measures to mitigate the negative consequences of the energy and inflation crises. In a speech to the Italian Senate on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, Draghi signaled that his service is contingent upon a new coalition agreement. Draghi's offer to stay on with the current government will depend on whether Italy's political parties can align. A confidence vote will take place on the evening of July 20, 2022, which he is likely to win. 

Three scenarios are possible in the coming months which will likely have implications on the country’s political agenda, including on development cooperation policy:

  1. Draghi remains Prime Minister until March 2023 with a new majority as well as a new team of Ministers. This scenario would allow the approval of the Budget Law, as well as the reforms needed to receive the new tranche of EU funds linked to the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan. This scenario would not have major implications for Italy’s development cooperation policy; 
  2. The President of the Republic dissolves the Parliament and calls for early elections in Autumn 2022. This scenario could be dangerous; the current fragmentation of the political landscape could lead to weeks of negotiations until a new, and presumably weak, government is appointed, running the risk that the country will not manage to approve a Budget Law by December 2022. This has not happened since the 1980s. Moreover, there are several reforms scheduled for implementation by the end of 2022 in order to receive the next tranche of EU funds for the Recovery and Resilience Plan. Early elections may freeze this process, which would also delay the receipt of these funds. Such a scenario could have huge implications, causing an inevitable slow-down (if not freeze) of Italian pledges made at the international level, at least until a new government is set; and
  3. The President of the Republic dissolves the Parliament but asks Prime Minister Draghi to keep his role until early 2023 in order to approve the Budget Law and the reforms linked to the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan. 

If Draghi does not receive the support he requested in his speech, he will likely resign and Mattarella will be incentivized to call for early elections - perhaps as soon as September. Early elections could delay necessary domestic Italian reforms and Italy's 2023 budget, which could affect Italy's ODA in 2023. 

News article - Repubblica (in Italian)

News article - BBC

News article - New York Times

Italy should improve poverty eradication measures domestically, globally, says GCAP report

On July 15, 2022, the Italian Government presented its Voluntary National Review during the UN High Level Political Forum. In response, the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) Italy published a shadow report to urge a stronger commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to tackle the current economic, social, and climate emergencies that are slowing progress towards Agenda 2030 targets.

The report - which is structured around the three P's: People, Planet, and Prosperity - showed that Italy is still far from reaching the SDG target on poverty eradication. In 2021, over 1.9 million households (7.5%; down from 7.7% in 2020) and about 5.6 million individuals fell into absolute poverty. Moreover, the incidence for relative poverty rose from 10.1% in 2020 to 11.1% in 2021. Finally, although the number of people at risk of poverty decreased in absolute terms compared to 2018, the income gap between the poorest and the richest classes increased in Italy. The per capita income of the lowest 40% of the population has decreased more than that of the total population.

As a result, GCAP Italy called on the government to increase efforts to tackle domestic poverty and to improve the National Sustainable Development Strategy, for instance by empowering local actors and NGOs in the identification of priority interventions. The report suggests that the government should boost the role of the National Forum on Sustainable Development as the main space for NGOs and CSOs to consult on development cooperation politics and initiatives also with the local governments to adopt participatory processes to design and implement policies. 

Report - GCAP Italy (in Italian)

Publish What You Fund releases 2022 Aid Transparency Index

Publish What You Fund released its 2022 Aid Transparency Index, which measures the transparency of key bilateral and multilateral international development organizations. Overall, the project found that donors maintained transparency near pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels; 31 of the 50 evaluated organizations scored in the ‘good’ or ‘very good’ categories, meaning they consistently publish high-quality data on development assistance disbursements. 50 donors were evaluated out of 100 points and ranked accordingly.  

Australia: The index showed that Australia's ODA transparency has continued to deteriorate. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) ranked 41 of the 50 donor organizations, a continuance of their declining trend. The agency remained in the ‘fair’ category but lost 10 points on the transparency index. DFAT was 34 of 47 in 2020 and 23 of 45 in 2018. This decline in transparency occurred under the previous Australian government. The recently elected Labor government has committed to improving accountability and transparency in the development sector. 

Canada: Global Affairs Canada (GAC) dropped from the ‘very good’ category in 2020 to ‘good’ in 2022, losing nearly 10 points in Publish What You Fund’s ranking system and ranking 17th overall in 2022, showing a concerning decrease in transparency amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.  

EU: The report evaluated the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), European Investment Bank (EIB), Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR), and the Directorate-General for International Partnerships (INTPA; formerly DEVCO).  

The European Commission’s (EC) ECHO scored ‘good’ overall and ranked 13th among evaluated donors, improving by nearly nine points compared to the 2020 index. The EC’s INTPA scored 15th among evaluated donors and ranked in the ‘good’ category, but declined by 4 points in transparency from 2020. The EBRD’s sovereign portfolio ranked 24th among donors and scored in the ‘good’ category, declining by 3 points since 2020. The non-sovereign portfolio was also placed in the ‘good' category, but ranked 31st among donors. The EC’s NEAR ranked in the ‘good’ category, as it did in 2020, but declined significantly in transparency, dropping nearly 15 points. The EIB’s sovereign portfolio ranked 33rd among donors and remained in the ‘fair’ category, as it was in 2020; the portfolio also lost 3 points in transparency compared to 2020. The EIB’s non-sovereign portfolio also stood in the ‘fair’ category, ranking 37th among donors.  

France: The French Development Agency (AFD) ranked 28th among donors and sat in the ‘good’ category. The agency improved by five points compared to 2020 and jumped up from ‘fair.’  

Germany: Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) scored ‘good’ overall and ranked 11th among evaluated donors, improving by seven points compared to the 2020 index. Germany’s Federal Foreign Office (FFO), on the other hand, ranked 43rd among donors with only 37 of 100 transparency points. 

Italy: The Italian Development Cooperation Agency (AICS) has gradually improved its performance since 2017. In 2020, AICS was placed in the ‘fair’ category, but the agency improved by 5 points, ranking 34th overall in 2022.   

Japan: The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) dropped the most out of the evaluated agencies – by 26 points – sliding from ‘fair’ to ‘poor’ in 2022 and ranking just 47th out of 50 donors evaluated.  

Netherlands: The Netherlands’ Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) declined by 4 points from 2020, but remained in the ‘good’ category, ranking 23rd overall.  

Norway: Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) dropped from ‘fair’ in 2020 to ‘poor’ in 2022, losing seven points.  

South Korea: South Korea’s Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) scored ‘good’ overall and ranked 14th among evaluated donors, improving by seven points compared to the 2020 index. 

Spain: The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) ranked 42nd among donors, losing nearly 17 points since 2020 and remaining in the ‘fair’ category.  

Sweden: The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) ranked 21st among donors, improving by 4 points since 2022 and sitting in the ‘good’ category. 

United Kingdom: The report found the transparency of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has declined.  According to the index’s ranking, the FCDO fell from 9th place in 2020 to 16th in 2022; no UK agency scored in the 'very good' category for the first time since the Index was launched in 2012. The FCDO and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) sat in the ‘good’ category. The FCDO has underperformed compared to the former Department for International Development (2020) across all five Index components; this is largely the result of a lack of organizational and country strategies and inconsistent release of results, evaluations, and objectives.

United States: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) ranked 25th among donors and was placed in the ‘good’ category; however, the agency lost nearly 12 points and declined significantly in transparency since 2020. The US State Department ranked 32nd among donors, losing 5 points since 2020 and dropping out of the ‘good’ category to ‘fair.’  

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent US government agency, scored in the ‘very good’ category and ranked 5th among donors. The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) jumped from ‘fair’ to ‘good’ in 2022, improving by nearly 9 points and ranking 20th among donors.  

Recommendations for all donors included:  

  • Publishing more project budgets to facilitate planning and coordination;  
  • Implementing government entity references and developing referencing approaches for the private sector to track assistance flows;  
  • For Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), improving non-sovereign portfolio data;  
  • Publishing comprehensive data on project impact metrics; and 
  • Publishing budget documents, project procurement information, and impact appraisals.  

Report - Publish What You Fund 

News article – BOND  

News article - The Telegraph 

News article - National Tribune 

Italian Agency for Development Cooperation publishes annual report

The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) published its 2021 Annual Report, which was presented at the National Development Cooperation Conference, Coopera 2022 in June 2022. Between 2019 and 2021, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) allocated US$600 million to implement its programs, US$646 million to new investments, US$173 million to tackle new emergencies, and US$216 million to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

AICS invested the most in food and nutrition security in 2021, with around US$50 million in funding, followed by good governance and civil society support (US$46 million), gender equality (US$43 million), health (US$35 million), environmental protection and climate mitigation (US$32 million), education (US$27 million) and support for people with disabilities (US$20 million). 

Report - AICS (in Italian)

More than 40 countries see 15% food inflation, according to new report

The think tank CeSPI recently published a report for the Italian Parliament on the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on global food security.

The report begins by claiming that the number of people suffering from food insecurity has reached 865 million in June 2022. In addition, the study analyses the drivers of increased global food prices, showing that trends toward crisis have emerged over the last two years and were accelerated by Russia’s conflict escalation in February 2022. Currently, several countries are facing food price spikes, with more than 40 countries experiencing 15% food inflation. 

Russia and Ukraine represent around 12% of calories exported worldwide, accounting for one-third of total wheat exports and more than half of global sunflower oil exports. The report highlights that in June 2022, global wheat production fell by 1.5 million tons, - linked particularly to the conflict in Ukraine due to blocked wheat exports from Ukrainian harbors, etc., as well as decreases in agricultural production due to the dry season in countries like France, Spain, and India. These factors are exposing the most fragile countries to food insecurity, particularly low- and middle-income countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, which imports half of its cereals from Russia and Ukraine and countries in Southern Asia and the remainder of countries in the African Union. These countries will face higher costs when replacing low-cost imports with new suppliers. 

The report states that the global food security impact of the escalated conflict in Ukraine will depend on three factors:

  1. A drastic reduction in agricultural production and food exports from Russia and Ukraine;
  2. A surge in global food prices, as well as the prices of crucial inputs for global supply chains, such as fertilizers and energy; and
  3. The launch of restrictive measures such as export bans of agricultural products, in several countries such as Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Serbia, and Turkey that have begun implementing these policies. 

Finally, the report discusses some policy measures that could be taken to mitigate and eradicate global food insecurity. While in the short-term it is crucial to support the most fragile countries with humanitarian food assistance, it is also essential to address the root causes of hunger by supporting financial investments that allow the creation of resilient, sustainable, and productive agri-food systems.  

Report - CeSPI (in Italian)

CSOs urge governments to address land grabbing amidst global food security crisis

A recent report by Italian CSO FOCSIV highlighted that in the past 20 years, around 91.7 million hectares of land have been 'grabbed' from local communities, smallholder farmers, and native groups.

Land grabbing refers to large-scale long-term acquisitions of farmland by private and public investors for algricultural purposes. Land grabbing often operates in legal grey areas and has been referred to as a 'new form of colonialism' that threatens low- and middle-income countries' sovereignty and local communities' survival by many experts. 

Countries experiencing the largest increases in land grabbing include Peru (16 million hectares), followed by Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. In Europe, Ukraine has also experienced high levels of land grabbing due to privatization measures and a land reform that has benefited a small group of agribusinesses.

The report calls on NGOs, CSOs, and governments to work together to support most vulnerable groups; They give examples like increasing ODA levels and allocating new resources to support a sustainable agricultural transition that protects human rights and the livelihoods of farming communities.

The report calls for strengthening the role of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), rolling out due diligence legislation (e.g., EU legislation on land grabbing), and outlines 10 key recommendations to restructure global food systems to support local farming communities and protect the right to land for the most vulnerable. 

Report - FOCSIV

News article - LIFEGATE

Italian minister outlines future steps for Italian development cooperation at national conference

The second edition of the National Development Cooperation Conference (CO-OPERA 22) took place in Rome from June 24-25, 2022.

The conference was organized into five panels on the five 'Ps' of the UN Agenda 2030 (People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnerships).

During the final plenary session, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation Marina Sereni warned that the crisis in Ukraine may divert resources away from development cooperation programs. The Vice Minister fully endorsed the call to create binding mechanisms to achieve the 0.7% ODA/GNI target and outlined five main axes for the future of Italy’s development cooperation:

  1. Ensure adequate quantity and quality of resources for development cooperation going forward (e.g., by identifying new mechanisms like blended finance to reach the 0.7% ODA/GNI target); 
  2. Ensure that the Russian invasion of Ukraine does not divert resources and political attention from key priority regions for Italy’s development cooperation policy, which includes countries in Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East;
  3. Improve governance mechanisms, by making existing tools (e.g., the National Council for Development Cooperation or the Inter-ministerial Committee for Development Cooperation) more efficient to swiftly respond to immediate crises and ensure stronger and more inclusive programming with all relevant actors;
  4. Strengthen Italy's role in Europe by playing a leading role and fully harnessing new initiatives launched by the EU (e.g., Global Gateway); and
  5. Increase communication efforts to raise awareness and trust among recipient countries and the Italian public. 

Event - CO-OPERA

Oxfam criticizes G7 for falling short of COVID-19 vaccine pledges; timely delivery could have prevented 600,000 deaths

New analysis by Oxfam Canada and the People’s Vaccine Alliance found that only 49% of the 2.1 billion COVID-19 donations promised by the G7 to low- and middle-income countries have been delivered;  Oxfam called out the UK and Canada as the worst offenders.

The analysis showed that, had the missing donated doses been shared, they could have saved almost 600,000 lives in low- and middle-income countries, equivalent to one death every minute. Oxfam criticizes Canada and the UK as the worst performers, having failed to deliver anywhere near the number of vaccines they promised. The G7's contributions are as follows: 

  • Only 39% of the 100 million doses the UK pledged to deliver by the end of June 2022 were delivered;
  • While the deadlines to meet their respective commitments are the end of 2022, only 30% of Canada’s over 50 million pledged doses, and 46% of the US's 1.2 billion pledged doses have been delivered;
  • France, Italy, and Germany have collectively delivered just 56% of 700 million promised doses by the middle of 2022; and
  • Japan has delivered 64% of the 60 million doses it promised to contribute.

Op-ed - Oxfam Canada

CSOs identify key focus areas for upcoming Italian Conference on Development Cooperation

The second edition of the National Conference on Development Cooperation (CO-OPERA) will take place in Rome from June 23-24 2022. The Conference will be a crucial moment to assess the status of Italy’s development cooperation and will focus on 5 main themes: peace, people, prosperity, planet, and partnerships. Despite high expectations in the lead-up to the event, CSOs warn that in the current geopolitical and financial context, the conference will not signify major contributions to the country’s development cooperation ambitions. The preliminary Budget Law for 2023 issued in Spring 2022 does not foresee binding commitments to increase the ODA/GNI level. Therefore, important voices from the CSO community have identified some key topics for which advocates can push for concrete results:

  • Increasingly involve CSOs and all relevant development stakeholders in the design and implementation of development policies and projects;
  • Define a national, coherent, and commonly shared strategic vision for Italy’s development cooperation with clear and measurable commitments to be reached at the national, European, and international levels; 
  • Respect the 0.7% ODA/GNI target set by the Budget Law in 2014, keeping in mind the presentation of the national progress report at the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2022;
  • Promote an agenda of peace globally as a key precondition to make development cooperation effective in fragile regions; and
  • Streamline development cooperation as a key principle and target of the country’s foreign policy initiatives.

Op-ed - Nino Sergi