The Italian Development Cooperation - Historical series
Aid during the time
The variation of resources committed and paid for Bilateral and Multi-bilateral development aid
Aid in numbers
Bilateral and Multi-bilateral
Italian development projects
Total funding committed
Total funding used
What is it spent for?
The purpose/sector of destination of a bilateral contribution should be selected by answering the question “which specific area of the recipient’s economic or social structure is the transfer intended to foster”. The sector classification does not refer to the type of goods or services provided by the donor. Sector specific education or research activities (e.g. agricultural education) or construction of infrastructure (e.g. agricultural storage) should be reported under the sector to which they are directed, not under education, construction, etc. read more close
By means of?
The typology identifies the modalities that are used in aid delivery. It classifies transfers from the donor to the first recipient of funds (e.g. the recipient country, a multilateral organisation, or a basket fund). It does not track the end uses of the funds, which is addressed in the sector classification and to some extent through the policy objective markers. read more close
The extending agency is the government entity (central, state or local government agency or department) financing the activity from its own budget. It is the budget holder, controlling the activity on its own account. Agencies administering activities on behalf of other government entities should not be reported as extending agencies but as channels of delivery. read more close
Italian development aid in brief
1. Background and main reasons for the presence of the Italian Cooperation
With a GDP growth (USD 39 billion in 2010) of around 8% from 2007 to 2010, Lebanon shown in the recent years to be one of the most active country in the Middle East, with a reduced level of such growth only in 2011, coinciding with the worsening of the global financial crisis and with the onset of the Syrian conflict. In particular, with the recent influx of more than 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, the socio-economic situation is witnessing a deterioration far beyond the expected financial crisis’s negative effects. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit analysis, the growth rate registered in the last semester of 2012 was 1.7%, much lower than the initial projected estimates of around 3% for the same year.
The Italian Cooperation for Development aims therefore to support the efforts for progressive stabilization and subsequent development of the socio-economic and political life, focusing on the important role played by the private sector in this regard. This ambitious objective clearly represents one of the main reasons which justifies the Italian long-standing presence in the country, also considering the common countries’ willingness to continue towards the improvements of the historical political, economic and cultural relations. In particular, the Italian Government maintains a prominent role within UNIFIL, while representing Lebanon’s second largest commercial partner, and the first European one. Italy aims also at strengthening its significant cultural ties with Lebanon, by promoting the diffusion of the Italian language and culture. Following with great attention Lebanon’s progress in the path toward internal stabilization and the consolidation of democratic institutions, since 2006 Italy has been committed towards the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Lebanon primary infrastructures and basic services with the signature of several project agreements concerning the 1997 and 1998 Soft Loan Agreement (total value of more than 130 million Euro).
To confirm the growing value of the Italian commitment, from 2006 to 2009 the Parties signed the three grant framework agreements intended to regulate the Italian intervention in the rehabilitation of the areas and infrastructures affected by the 2006 conflict. Far beyond the pledge made during the Paris Conference in January 2007, Italy continues to promote the reconstruction/rehabilitation of infrastructures and basic services and the improvement of socio-economic conditions, with a total current contribution of around 185 million of Euro.
2. Other international donors, coordination and opportunities of division of labor, joint evaluation exercises (Harmonization)
The Italian Cooperation for Development acts in close coordination with all relevant Donors operating in Lebanon ranging from the EU and other international organizations to State-actors. In order to guarantee the harmonization of its action with other Donors, the Italian Cooperation for Development is present in the main international forums (WB, UN Agencies, EU) and ensures the Presidency in the EU working group on Environment in the context of the progressive implementation of the EU Code of Conduct on Complementarity and the Division of Labour in Development Policy. The Italian Cooperation for Development is creating synergies with reference to several EU initiatives, such as the Municipal Finance project. For instance, this project in particular has been subject to a joint identification exercise with the EU, in partnership with the Lebanese Ministry of Interior and Municipalities (overall budget of the EU equivalent to 20 million euro). The Italian Cooperation is also the first European Donor in the environmental sector; leading and coordinating the European countries working group on environment. The Italian involvement has also been extended to the analysis of new mechanisms of financing, such as the European Neighborhood Investment Facility (NIF). Finally, following the onset of the Syrian crisis, Italy is strengthening its relationship with all UN Agencies, providing them with additional funds for more than 6.4 million Euro and financing other direct and indirect complementary interventions for around 4.7 million Euro.
3. Other expressions of the Italian Cooperation System in the country (NGOs, universities, local authorities, private sector) and strategies for their involvement
The Italian presence in Lebanon includes several non-state and local actors. As far as the NGOs are concerned, there are 11 Italian NGOs currently operating in the country in both development and humanitarian situations. In the past, tangible examples of the Italian NGOs presence in Lebanon were the three phase of Emergency Programmes ROSS 2007-2009, which saw their involvement in promoted projects for a total amount of nearly 26 million Euro. Today, along with the continuation of the activities by means of Italian funded projects, the NGOs are showing even progressive capacities in channeling additional funds coming from other international Donors, such as the EU, the Arab funds and private sector organizations. Moreover, as regards decentralized cooperation, Lebanon is witnessing an enhancement of development interactions between local authorities. An example of such a collaboration is represented by the programme carried out by the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, which provided the Italian Cooperation for Development financed projects with technical expertise in the field of renewable energy. A second example is the collaboration established among the National Park of Abruzzo, the Italian Authority FEDERPARCHI and the Shouf Biosphere Reserve aimed at increasing the local capacity to deal with fires and other disasters. The involvement of the Tuscany Region is also foreseen in the near future. Italian universities are also active in the country, with the experience of the Master for Peace Programme. In addition, two Lecturers in Italian have been appointed to the Lebanese University and to the Kalisk University. The Italian private sector is also strongly involved in development initiatives financed by the Italian Government mainly as primary contractors for infrastructural projects managed by the Lebanese Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR). Finally, Italy is still playing a primary role in Lebanon, through its military presence in UNIFIL, currently led by Major General Paolo Serra. In particular, following a significant negotiation and discussion path among different representatives, a civil-military coordination table has been set up in 2009 for development cooperation activities and assistance to civil population in the UNIFIL areas of intervention, according to Res. 1701.
4. General objectives of the Italian cooperation in the country, sharing with counterparts and consistency with international guidelines on aid effectiveness
The Italian Cooperation for Development’s presence in Lebanon is built upon two main channels of intervention: an emergency initiative and an extensive development program. To this extent, the objectives are to provide basic services and, where possible, reconstruct and rehabilitate them, especially in those areas recently affected by the massive influx of Syrian refugees, and to promote the socio-economic development according to the country’s needs and strategy.
Thus, the Italian presence aims at is in line with the Lebanese strategy for poverty reduction, focusing on those priority sectors identified at the country level, such as environment, water/infrastructures, local development and cultural heritage. For the current 2014-2016 financial exercise about 6 million additional funds are foreseen in the following sectors: water/infrastructure, environment, local development, cultural heritage (2014: 2 million Euro; 2015: 2 million Euro; 2016: 2 million Euro). For the other sectors (mainly agriculture and refugees), it is foreseen the completion of the current activities.
In order to guarantee the harmonization of its action with other Donors, the Italian Cooperation for Development funds are established according to the results of the international and local ad-hoc meetings (WB, UN Agencies, EU) and to the EU Code of Conduct on Complementary and the Division of Labour in Development Policy.
5. Priority sectors and expected results of the Italian Development Cooperation in Lebanon.
In the framework of the two Technical Assistance Protocols of August 1st, 1997 and April 23rd, 1998, for amounts in Euro equal to 132.6 million (soft loan) and 6.1 million (grant), the Italian Government is committed to finance several water-infrastructural programs in Lebanon. These undertakings are reinforced by those included in the Recovery, Reconstruction and Reform Agreements of November 19th, 2007 and October 7th, 2008 respectively of Euro 10 million and 8.8 million. Recently, the Italian Cooperation for Development (through the CDR which is the competent contracting authority) has been able to award the contract for the construction of the Jbeil Wastewater Treatment Plant for an amount of nearly 30millions Euro. In the near future, the Italian Government is expected to negotiate with the Lebanese counterpart the execution modalities of the 75 million Euro Paris Pledge.
In the next coming three years, it is foreseen that around 200.000 habitants of the population living in Zahle city and surrounding area will benefit of a system capable to treat and clean the wastewater flowing into the Berdawni then Litani rivers and around 100.000 habitants of the population living in Jbeil city and surrounding area will have access to clean-potable water and benefit of a system capable to treat and clean the wastewater flowing into the sea.
The Italian Cooperation for Development in Lebanon is the first European Donor in the country and partner of the Ministry of Environment. It leads and coordinates the European countries working group on environment and supports several international agencies. Since 2006, the country has invested approximately Euro 23M in Environmental projects and/or projects with a significant environmental component.
- Main areas of operation are the following: Capacity development of the Ministry of Environment and other entities;
- Integrated Waste Management;
- Sustainable land use planning;
- Forest fire prevention;
- Management and development of protected areas;
- Energy saving and renewable energy: organization of training courses for Lebanese specialists and installation of renewable energy systems;
- Marine Research.
The Italian Cooperation for Development intends to consolidate its position as the reference Donor. Among others, the activities in the coming years foresee the completion of the first controlled landfill site in Baalbek collecting the waste of approximately 180,000 persons of the Union of Municipalities, the conclusion of the bathymetric studies of the Lebanese coast and the installation of 66 solar thermal systems in buildings of public utility providing hot water for more than 6,000 beneficiaries. Furthermore, it is planned to deliver Technical Assistance to the Lebanon Environmental Pollution Abatement Project (LEPAP), by financing a Project Management Unit (Donation, Euro 2.3M) which is responsible for setting up and managing the technical implementation of a financing mechanism (soft loan from the World Bank, US$ 15 M) for the abatement of industrial pollution of at least 15 companies. In addition, the Italian Cooperation is formulating projects for fostering the mini-hydro sector (Donation, Euro 2 M), by implementing demonstration hydropower projects and by assessing the corresponding regulatory framework.
The Italian Cooperation for Development projects in the decentralization/local development sector contribute to improve the regulatory and legal framework at local level and to enhance municipal sector capacities to assume their mandate. At local level, it strengthens the Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSA) decentralized structures (the Social Development Centers) in their technical capacities to deliver social, paramedical and psychosocial services. Another important component of the Italian presence in the social sector concerns the existing Social Development Fund managed by MOSA: rather than providing additional resources to the Fund, this project aims at the enhancement of monitoring and evaluation procedures and management tools improving MOSA’s skills to manage public funds.
Within the coming two years, it is foreseen that (i) around 150 direct beneficiaries and 3000 indirect beneficiaries will benefit from the strategy “Children Friendly Cities” and (ii) the number of women which are members in the National Assembly will double.
In this sector, the Italian Cooperation for Development is particularly active also through the Municipal Finance initiative, which provides on competitive basis grants for investment projects to the Unions of Municipalities (UoM) and to Small Municipalities for a total amount of more than 2million Euro.
Within the coming two year, it is expected that (i) around 450.000 habitants of the population living in municipalities which are part of the UoM; (ii) and around 180.000 habitants of the population living in small municipalities which are not part of the UoM are supported with the rehabilitation and construction of basic services and infrastructures (considering with particular attention those areas affected by the recent influx of Syrian refugees).
Main Donor in the cultural heritage sector, together with the World Bank and the French Cooperation, the Italian Development Cooperation is intervening with conservation, restoration and valorization activities in the most famous and prestigious archeological and historical sites of Lebanon and in 2 sites included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage: Baalbeck and Tyre. The recent strategic plan includes valorization of cultural heritage in a more complete scope of intervention that includes cultural and religious tourism. In the specific domain of technical restoration, Italy has become the leading donor in terms of technical assistance to the Directorate General of Antiquities creating a solid partnership for cultural heritage protection and with the Ministry of Tourism for the valorization of cultural sites in a sustainable perspective. A prestigious intervention was carried out in the National Museum for the restoration of the Roman Frescoes of the Tomb of Tyre: with a grant of 256.000 Euro it was possible to proceed with the complete restoration and conservation of the Roman funerary chamber (around 36sqm of restored surfaces), providing an adequate museographic display for the Tomb hosted in the basement of the Museum, promotion campaigns for the Museum and a remarkable publication of the works undertaken.
These activities are now positively impacting on the cultural and educational offer of the Museum, namely giving benefits to around 5000 visitors per month while becoming an incentive for many schools that are starting to include the Museum in the study programs for kids. Furthermore, among the expected results for the cultural field, with an overall amount of 10.228.000 Euro as soft loan (CHUD Program) and nearly 2.700.000 as donations are the consolidation, restoration and valorization of 2 monumental UNESCO sites (Baalbeck and Tyre), the consolidation and restoration of 2 Crusaders Castles (Sidon and Chamaa), the requalification and valorization, through the creation of a cultural incubator, of 1 Caravanserai in Sidon, the restoration and re-utilization of 1 historical building in Baalbeck, the restoration and requalification of an Ottoman Mill in Tripoli and the capacity building of the cultural tourism and the tourism sector in Baalbeck. For the short term, it was recently approved a big scale project for the realization of the whole museographic plan for the basement of the National Museum of Beirut with a donation of 1.020.000 Euro. In addition, the Italian Cooperation is formulating a project for fostering the strengthening of the cultural tourism offer in Baalbeck and Tyre as a tool for development and to guarantee the sustainability of the interventions in the cultural sites targeted by the CHUD Program.