The third annual meeting of the Joint Committee for Development Cooperation, chaired by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Emanuela Del Re, was held today at the Farnesina in the presence, among others, of the new Director of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, Luca Maestripieri.
During today’s meeting, the Joint Committee approved a package of initiatives for a total value of approximately 40 million euros, of which 15 million earmarked for aid credits to the benefit of Ethiopia and Lebanon. Contributions were also approved for Cuba and Ethiopia, as well as interventions in favour of Kenya, Mali, Senegal, Somalia, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Colombia, as well as funding for the Union for the Mediterranean.
As usual, the session also provided an opportunity for an in-depth examination of topics of priority interest for Italian Cooperation. Dr. Roland Schilling, Deputy Regional Representative for Southern Europe of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), gave a presentation on the challenges concerning refugees and stabilization processes in Libya and in the Sahel. Shilling also provided a status report on the rather critical situation of the approximately 5,000 migrants present in the detention centers in Libya, some of which are located near the conflict zones. Deputy Minister Del Re expressed the strong hope that this situation be remedied by means of humanitarian corridors in a perspective of European collaboration and solidarity. With regard to the Sahel, Deputy Minister Del Re recalled her recent visit to “a region whose dynamics have an increasingly direct impact on Italy and on the European Union as a whole, with all the related problems which require a synergistic approach by all the actors involved “.
At the end of the meeting, the Deputy Minister recalled the positive outcome of EXCO, the event on international cooperation which took place last week at the Fiera di Roma, thanking all the protagonists of the cooperation system for their “great contribution and support” to its realization. “EXCO has been a great success and may become a commitment and a constant and necessary forum for comparing notes in the future” – concluded the Deputy Minister