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The Joint Committee for Development Cooperation held a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation today.

“We approved a package of programmes and initiatives for a total amount of about 165 million euros for countries from all major geographic regions including Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano.

Alfano continued: “Most of the approved projects will benefit Africa as a concrete follow-up to our commitment to step up cooperation there, which has become increasingly central to our foreign policy decisions.  Our aim is to primarily support development in the health, agricultural and local business sectors. Main areas of intervention include countries in the Horn of Africa, especially Ethiopia and Somalia, in addition to other countries of priority interest to us such as Burkina Faso and Mozambique. We also approved significant aid credit for Mali and Tanzania. This will go towards higher technical and professional education to help achieve sustainable development objectives”.

“We also decided to expand our presence in Asia where we are funding 8 projects, including: Afghanistan (where we will fund projects to help reintegrate refugees and internally displaced persons, along with health and rural and urban development projects); Vietnam (with aid credit of 10 million euros to support renewable energy); and Myanmar. We also increased our commitment in the Middle East, with projects in Syria (especially programmes to support refugees and support women and the health system), Lebanon and Palestine.

Finally, with regard to South America, we decided to support a programme to improve agricultural productivity in Cuba,” concluded the Minister.

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