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 Italian Cooperation
Afghanistan is a priority country due to the high poverty ratio, its fragile context and Italy’s commitment to participate in the significant support provided by the international community to Afghanistan in the last decade. In this context, civilian development cooperation support is, along with international military presence, an essential component of Italy’s participation to the international community’s effort for the country peace-building and state-building process.
The Development Cooperation Framework Agreement (October 2010) and the Long Term Partnership Agreement with Afghanistan (January 2012) define criteria and modalities for Italy’s support to Afghanistan in support of its development strategy and national programmes. The development partnership between Afghanistan and Italy is implemented through a coordinated support to the Afghan National Development Strategy (ANDS), based mainly on financial allocations made available through special legislation on international peace missions.
Italian Development Cooperation has been supporting the reconstruction and development efforts of Afghanistan since 2001. Initiatives for about 649 million Euro in grants and 122 million Euro in soft loans have been approved and about 530 million Euro disbursed. The balance will be disbursed in the coming years through multiannual programmes.
Italian Cooperation strategy is based on dialogue at all levels with the National Government in Kabul and sub-national counterparts, especially in Herat and the Western region, with joint identification and analysis of specific priorities in response to the essential needs and the livelihood of the population (health and agriculture/rural development), main structural gaps (road infrastructure) and capacity-building to improve governance and Rule of Law. Support is generally provided to Afghan national programmes within the 2008-2013 phase of ANDS. Such an approach, an integral part of the state-building effort, yields significant returns in term of sustainability and ownership, a point stressed by the Afghan Government in preparations for the Bonn Conference, and can thus be cost-effective in helping the Government in developing its capacity to deliver basic services, to manage public finances effectively, and to build credibility and legitimacy with the Afghan people.
2. Other international donors, coordination and opportunities for division of labor, joint evaluation exercises (Harmonization)
In the last 10 years Afghanistan has been the main recipient of Official Development Assistance. Development partners include the large majority of donors and development agencies, working through well structured coordination mechanisms with the Government, as defined by the Kabul Conference (2010) and the Tokyo Conference (2012). Italy participates in general and sector groups and Trust Funds, including the ARTF (Afghan Reconstruction Trust Fund) the main on-budget multilateral funding channel, managed by the World Bank. Main bilateral donors are US, UK, Japan, Germany, Australia and others.
While within the EU there is no division of labour, coordination with the EU delegation is effective. In May 2014, a first coordination exercise was carried out in Kabul among EU delegation and member states, in order to define a shared Implementation Plan 2014-2016. This plan, detailing each country’s engagement in sectors related to four main objectives (Promoting Peace, Stability and Security; Reinforcing Democracy; Encouraging Economic and Human Development; Fostering Rule of Law and Human Rights) shall be discussed at the next Council of the EU.
In the context of the EU delegated cooperation policy, a transfer agreement was recently reached concerning Agriculture and rural development. The largest single donor among EU member states is Germany (28%), followed by Italy (22 %) (Sixth EU Implementation Report).
The initiatives of the Italian Cooperation are part of the 6 clusters identified by the Afghan government within the Afghan National Development Strategy - ANDS (Security, Governance, Human development, Infrastructure, Agriculture and rural development, Private sector) and, in coordination with international donors, are aligned to some of the 22 NPP (National Priority Programs) identified by the Government. Since the targets were agreed in Tokyo in 2012, Italy has been channeling at least 50% of Italian resources through the Afghan budget, targeting at financing national development programs, and over 80% of Italian funds are aligned to National Priority Programs, as confirmed within the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework.
In line with the conclusions of the Tokyo Conference in July 2012 the renewed support of the international community must match the firm commitment by the Afghan government to improve standards of transparency and good governance, to reform the administration and justice, in particular by ensuring the protection of women.
3. Other actors of the Italian Cooperation System in the country (NGOs, universities, local authorities, private sector) and strategies for their involvement.
Several Italian development partners are present in Afghanistan, including NGOs (Actionaid, InterSos, CESVI, AISPO, GVC, Emergency and others), Universities and research bodies (Università di Genova, Università per stranieri di Perugia, Università di Firenze), as well as private corporations, either in support of development projects or a as suppliers of goods or services (Lotti, Margraf, Assomarmomacchine, Agriconsulting, Società Italiana Monitoraggio, Italtrend). The Italian Provincial Reconstruction Team, based at Herat until April 2014, played a key role in planning and implementing civilian development projects in response to specific needs of the local communities, in the context of the Provincial Development Plan. In Kabul the Embassy of Italy with the Italian Cooperation Office is the coordination and information exchange hub for Italian development partners and actors, in order to promote partnerships and good practices networks. Coordination is also held in Herat by the Embassy of Italy.
4. General objectives of Italian Cooperation in the country, counterpart sharing and consistency with international guidelines on aid effectiveness.
The main goal of Italian Development Cooperation is to contribute, within the International Community’s commitment, to peace-building and state-building in Afghanistan, by supporting the reconstruction and development efforts of Afghanistan and its institutions. The international community’s engagement goes beyond the present transition phase, to the transformation decade. Part of Italy’s aid is channelled through multilateral organizations, in particular the World Bank (ARTF) and UN agencies and programmes. This allows implementation of an agreed and coordinated development strategy with international partners and the Government of Afghanistan.
Italian Cooperation policy and resources are focused on basic services (health), rural development, transportinfrastructures, capacity building of national institutions and better governance – as per sectors identified within the Long-Term Partnership Agreement.
Programmes are funded mainly through Afghan government mechanisms aligned with National Priority Programs in the framework of the ANDS. This support includes following as, National Solidarity Program (NSP), Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA), National Rural Access Program (NRAP), Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP), National and Regional Resource Corridors Program (NRRCP), SHARP implemented by Ministry of Public Health; Agricultural Inputs implemented by Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL). Most of these projects have a specific focus and geographic earmarking toward the Herat Province and the other Western Provinces (Badghis, Farah, and Ghor). However, the Italian aid is also present and effective in areas such as Bamyan, Wardak, Kabul, Badakshan etc.
Support to the judicial institutions through training, capacity-building, and provision of equipment and goods, represents a specific priority and are funded both on-budget – through the World Bank’s Justice Sector Development Program – and off-budget – on the bilateral channel and through UNDP’s Justice and Human Rights in Afghanistan Program. Capacity building is being implemented in partnership with the Herat University and Italian Universities through specialized training schemes designed to provide sustainability and transfer of skills to local institutions. The main sectors of work for the Italian Development Cooperation are: the reform of the penal code; the support to the establishment and functioning of the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) Units at the Attorney General Office in Kabul and in other provinces with specific focus on Herat; the provision of free-of-charge legal support to vulnerable groups etc.
5. Priority development sectors and expected results
In line with the Development Cooperation Framework Agreement and the Partnership Agreement with Afghanistan signed in January 2012, focus priority sectors for Italy include Economic and rural development; Governance and Rule of Law; Infrastructure and natural resources. Traditional support will continue in areas of activity such as health and humanitarian aid, as well as support to cross-cutting issues such as gender and civil society, building on the Conferences successfully held in Kabul in March 2011 and Rome in May 2011, and assistance to vulnerable groups.
A soft loan package of 150 million Euro was agreed in 2011 with the Afghan Ministry of Finance in support of two strategic infrastructure priorities, the Herat to Chest-i Sharif road, a key component of the East-West road corridor and an expected catalyst for economic development and access to essential services in remote districts, and the upgrading of the Herat International Airport to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s standards.
Italy is also an active member of the Heart of Asia initiative (Istanbul Process) for establishing Confidence Building Measures among regional Countries. Italy is part of two groups: CBM on Infrastructures and CBM for drug control.
At the 2012 Tokyo Conference, with the TMAF (Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework), the Afghan Government and the International Community reaffirmed their partnership in the economic growth and development of Afghanistan through a process of mutual accountability. The International Community’s ability to sustain support for Afghanistan depends upon the Afghan Government delivering on its commitments described in the TMAF and to improve transparency and governance standards, reform public administration and justice, with special attention to human rights and gender condition.
Grant-based support will continue to be required in future in order to support Afghan civil institution building, and provide financial resources to essential services, infrastructure, productive sectors during the transition and later during the transformation decade. In addition to the 32,7 million Euro allocated in 2012, 29 million Euro have been made available in 2013 and about 10 million Euro in 2014 I Semester, which are targeted to the improvement of the gender condition, rural development and infrastructure rehabilitation. Altogether Italy’s overall commitment after Tokyo amounts to over 220 million euro.
The priority areas defined in the strategic partnership agreement signed in January 2012, are:
- "Governance", at national and local levels, focusing on Herat and on Western region (Justice, budget support, local elections, civil service, local development through Provincial Budgeting); the expected results are the improvement of the country’s institutional capacity , particularly with regard to sub-national governance, in an inclusive and participatory way, the interaction between local and central governance bodies and the protection of human rights, especially of women, children and vulnerable groups. Areas of focus pertaining to the field of governance include gender equality and the safeguard of cultural heritage. In continuity of the international missions funding at the 2012 level, it is expected to invest in this area an average of 10 million per year in grants over the next three years.
- Rural development and agriculture, centred in the Western region (community development at village level, agriculture, micro-credit, education and vocational training through Afghan Ministries); the expected results are the empowerment of rural communities to achieve, through participatory and inclusive approach, particularly in favour of women, the improvement of their living conditions, particularly with regard to food security, production of income and access to basic services. In this context, Italian Cooperation will maintain a focus on health. In continuity of the international missions funding at the 2012 level, is expected to invest in this area an average of 12 million per year in grants over the next three years.
- Transport infrastructure, through support to the Ministry of Public Works projects, particularly in the central region (Bamyan, Wardak, Logar) and in the western region (Shindand, Herat bypass), together with the support to an improved civil aviation sector in Herat The expected results are the improvement of the connectivity of the western region with the rest of the country and to the regional level – as foreseen by the Heart of Asia process. The Italian cooperation plans to invest in this area EUR 150 million, to be disbursed over the next five years, of which 95% on a soft-loan basis.
Additional focus areas, included in the partnership agreement, are health and gender, with the aim of improving the population’s access to basic health services and of improving, also through support to civil society organizations, the status of women in Afghanistan.
Italian commitment for humanitarian aid will continue, in line with the principles of Good Humanitarian Donorship Guidelines.