Rome -- Italy has announced it will contribute an additional €6 million to support FAO's strategic priorities including €1 million towards the Organization's emergency programme.
The announcement came at the end of a two-day Annual Review Meeting, during which FAO and Italian officials reviewed the Italy/FAO Cooperative Programme including the results achieved by more than 50 Italy-funded projects with a total budget of US$127.2 million.
Italy is one of the largest voluntary contributors to FAO, ranking ninth in the list for Resource Partner contributions 2012-2013 with US$22.3 million in total approvals as at March 2013 (core, emergencies and development).
The discussions with FAO technical staff highlighted the quality results achieved to date by the programmes and the strategic importance of the initiatives funded by Italy for FAO and the achievement of its Strategic Objectives.
Food security has traditionally been the focus of Italy/FAO cooperation with projects ranging from support to farmer-based cooperatives/organizations and the commercialization of agriculture to early warning to reduction of post-harvest losses.
In emergency assistance, 40 percent of Italian aid has gone to sub-Saharan Africa over the past five years. The Near East has received 25 percent and Asia about 20 percent of emergency funding. The new guidelines released by Italian Cooperation for 2013-2015 focus on 24 priority countries based on political and social criteria as well as on past experience in selected thematic areas in each country.
Italy and FAO are also working closely to prepare for a successful Milan Expo 2015, which will be a major opportunity to advocate for food security and good nutrition for all.