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Italy-Ethiopia: Pistelli, cooperation funds doubled

“In times of crisis and cutbacks we have been able to double aid to Ethiopia from the €48 million of 2009-2011 to €98.9 million for 2013-2015. An important contribution aimed at developing the area, with a special focus on mother/child healthcare, which is also an acknowledgement of Ethiopia’s role as our partner in regional stabilisation”. The announcement came from Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Lapo Pistelli as he signed a new 3-year framework agreement between Italy and Ethiopia in Addis Ababa.

Italy in the forefront on integrated development

“I am very satisfied”, Pitelli stated after signing the agreement with Minister for Finance and Economic Development Ato Ahmed Shide. “The new government was installment just a few weeks ago and we have already formalised a major agreement such as this”, which places Italy in the forefront in the integrated development model the European Union intends to pursue within the context of the “new millennium goals” to be introduced at the next UN General Assembly meeting. “Specifically speaking”, the Deputy Minister underscored, “today’s agreement is the fruit of Italy’s active role in promoting the Union’s joint cooperation strategy with Ethiopia. The Italian Cooperation will concentrate on a series of priority projects dealing with concrete considerations in the sectors of agriculture and sustainable rural development, through the supply of targeted services such as water, education and healthcare.

Highly skilled healthcare collaboration

In the course of his mission to Ethiopia, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Lapo Pistelli, accompanied by Director General for Development Cooperation Giampaolo Cantini, Ambassador of Italy to Addis Ababa Renzo Rosso and Director of the Local Technical Unit Fabio Melloni, also visited the St. Luke Hospital of Wolisso, in the Oromia region. The facility, an example of excellence in the healthcare sector and a major point of reference for the entire region, is the fruit of a decade of cooperation between the NGO CUAMM (Doctors with Africa) and the Italian Development Cooperation, with the added participation of the prestigious Rita Levi-Montalcini Foundation.

A highly significant and winning example of Italo-Ethiopian cooperation, as well as of public/private partnership in the administration of a healthcare facility, the St. Luke Hospital was the beneficiary over the past year of a joint nursing and obstetrics training project financed by the Italian Development Cooperation and implemented by CUAMM and the Rita Levi-Montalcini Foundation, the main goal being improve healthcare conditions in the more remote areas.

Support for the leather industry

Ethiopian Minister of State for Industry Ato Tadesse Haile and UNIDO representative in Ethiopia Jean Bagambanya Bakole were present that same same afternoon for the signing of an agreement on the second phase of the Technical Assistance Project for the Up-Grading of the Ethiopian Leather and Leather Products Industry, which is to be implemented by UNIDO over the next two years through a Cooperation contribution of €750,000. The project is part of the new 3-year (2013-2015) Italy-Ethiopia Country Programme signed yesterday in Addis Ababa, the first phase of which received unanimous appreciation from the Ethiopian government and all the actors involved for having made it possible to support the leather sector by boosting the technical and managerial skills of the small and medium-sized enterprises of Ethiopia’s Leather Industry Development Institute (LIDI).