On the sidelines today of the 3rd Conference on International Humanitarian Rights organised at the Scuola Ufficiale dei Carabinieri, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, met the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides.
Many topics were explored in their comprehensive meeting. Commissioner Stylianides began by expressing his appreciation for the positive role played by Italy on the migrant issue and Libya. He said that “Italy is using all the instruments at its disposal to take the right approach”. The Farnesina leader said that “there is potential for development in the Libyan situation, but there are ongoing difficulties”. To that end, “the assistance and solidarity of the EU would be needed to meet the most important challenges in the country: respect for human rights in refugee camps and support for economic development projects”.
As they examined the challenges of demography and development on the African continent, the two Ministers agreed on the need for support measures to families, an increase in external investment funds and to stimulate public-private partnerships to support investment by companies in Africa. On these matters, “Italy could play an important role within the scope of the UN Security Council”, according to Stylianides.
For his part, Alfano said that “there was an unprecedented increase in the number of humanitarian crises now, posing a challenge for both the European Commission and the EU member states. A more concerted effort is needed in terms of granting loans, the coordination and increasing the capacity of the EU to respond rapidly and effectively”.
Minister Alfano agreed with Commissioner Stylianides on the main elements of Italy’s action in humanitarian aid and development. He also reminded him that last year at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Italy committed to considerably increase its humanitarian budget and contributions to the main humanitarian organisations and countries hit by the most critical humanitarian crises (including 147 million euros for humanitarian aid to Syria since the beginning of the conflict, 4 million euros in humanitarian aid to Iraq in 2017 and a pledge of 7 million euros to internally displaced persons in Myanmar and refugees for the period September 2017 – February 2018) and countries that experienced serious famines (Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen).
“As we implemented this commitment with a total budget of 121 million euros, we also increased our 2017 resources by 18.7%. We intend to further increase this amount in 2018. These numbers truly reflect the increased importance that we attach to humanitarian assistance,” concluded the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.