The Italian government wants to strip funding for non-governmental organizations as part of a reform of its international cooperation policy.
The government has pushed language that prevents volunteers from participating in international development projects, and that leaves NGOs to exclusively shoulder all personnel costs in Italy-supported projects, according to Sergio Marelli, secretary general of FOCSIV, one of Italy’s largest networks of organizations engaged in international cooperation.
Italian NGOs reportedly plan to ask parliament to reverse the government’s decision.
In recent years, Italy has cut aid funding already as part of broader belt-tightening initiatives in response to the global financial crisis.
“Our country has substantially reduced development assistance and above all, the money allotted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, [through] which development strategies [can best be] implemented because [funding is somewhat flexible],” Elisabetta Belloni, head of the Italian Directorate General for Development Cooperation, told Devex last year. “In any case, the resources of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economy are much lower than is required by our [international] obligations.”
>> Italian Cooperation Chief Belloni: No Money Until 2012
Elena Pasquini contributed reporting.
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