The 2023 first meeting of the Joint Committee for Development Cooperation, the body appointed to approve funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for development initiatives, was held today. For the first time, the meeting was chaired by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Edmondo Cirielli.
In his introductory remarks, the Deputy Minister highlighted the crucial role that our Cooperation can play in responding to major global challenges and, at the same time, its nature as a driver for strategic investments on the resilience of our partner countries. “Our commitment aims to provide, in line with the values marking Italian foreign affairs, a coordinated, effective and shared response to issues of great political importance, such as sustainable economic development, countering violent extremism, human trafficking and climate change, food security, and access to energy.”
The Committee subsequently approved a package of major initiatives worth a total of about EUR 140 million, aimed at implementing activities in the areas of economic development and vocational training including employment, and addressing the causes of economic migration, as well as in the areas of health, the environment, and responding to violence against women. Specifically, about EUR 56 million was approved for initiatives in Africa, and about EUR 6 million for Middle East projects; initiatives in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Western Balkans were also approved, along with EUR 5 million in voluntary contributions to support the activities of international organisations.
The package also includes a EUR 55 million aid credit to support small and medium-sized enterprises in Tunisia. Finally, another high-priority decision was announced: the supply of more than EUR 10 million for support interventions to be proposed by Civil Society Organisations, on the basis of a special call for proposals, in favour of populations belonging to Christian minorities subject to persecution in crisis areas.