What has been reconstructed in the article that appeared this morning in "Libero" entitled "When Do-goodism Rhymes with Masochism. Italy gives millions to Tunisia, Somalia and Bolivia to fight the epidemic" is not reflected in the facts.
The Foreign Ministry has already made clear that it is false, Italy hasn’t donated 50 million euros to Tunisia. It is also false that Italy has donated 21 million euros to Bolivia to face COVID-19 emergency. The 21 millions that has been mentioned are a credit – not yet granted – decided upon an intergovernmental agreement that was signed on 15th May 2014 and came into force on 14th May 2018.
The 200,000 euros given to the Somali healthcare system are part of a 2019 humanitarian initiative carried out in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO). As part of this initiative, these funds were reallocated only after giving the equipment for the diagnosis of the current pandemic. Beyond the facts, it is also a matter of principle.
At the current juncture, helping countries to strengthen their healthcare systems is in everyone's interest. When, in the coming months, as we hope, Italy will have recovered after this emergency, we must prevent the epidemic from returning through regular flows of people, including our citizens who will travel to countries outside the EU and who will return to Italy from these countries.
Eventually, we cannot forget, particularly in these days, that solidarity has always been a cornerstone of Italian foreign policy. The great initiatives of friendship and closeness that we are seeing in these days prove it. We are a great country and we are proud of it.