Messaggio dell' UTL

Our Commitment for 2014

We are at the beginning of the year and it is time to take stock and to give us the goals to be achieved in 2014. They always say that the year that we left behind was full of big changes but I think in our case we can not define it as a simple stereotype. We completed the previous Country Programme and finalized, together with our European partners, a Joint Country Strategy, on the basis of which we have defined Ethio-Italy Country Framework 2013 - 2015 signed by our Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Lapo Pistelli,responsible for development cooperation last May. Despite the financial constraints, making use of the available resources as soft loans, instead of reducing our financial commitment for Ethiopia we have more than doubled it compared to previous years.

We have maintained our presence in the traditional sectors of the Italian Development Cooperation (health, water, education, agriculture) but we also added the private sector, drought resilience and gender. And we have launched a prestigious partnership on new technologies with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston for promoting literacy.

We have lost along the way some colleagues (5!) who have built with us the presence of the Italian Development Cooperation in Ethiopia. It is however rewarding to know that they now are all engaged in important roles with the United Nations, the European Union and also with the Italian Cooperation in other Countries. Others young employees replaced them with the same intention to take on the New Year commitment and activities that lie ahead.

We have strengthened the communication system and were the forerunners within the Italian Cooperation in the use of social networks. Our Facebook’s page is the most visited with more than 2,000 “followers” and we are grateful to all them. However, much remains to be done. We would like to have more feedback and inputs on our work in order to accomplish what we had initially promised opening the Facebook page, i.e. to make our activities more transparent, more opened, more engaging.

The year 2013 ended with a dramatic event, the outbreak of an internal conflict in South Sudan (which is within the competence of our Office), which abruptly stopped the laborious development of this Country and that is causing thousands of deaths, hundreds of thousands of displaced persons and a very difficult humanitarian situation. In the disaster, we can however be proud to have witnessed and contributed to a perfect operation of assistance to our compatriots by all the Italian Institutions: the Embassy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its Crisis Unit. In a few days when the situation was getting worse we have maintained contact with our compatriots and we made it possible to evacuate them from the Country. The challenge before us and for which we are working is to do our best in ensuring a timely flow of humanitarian aid.

In Djibouti, we were finally able to start the construction of the new Balbala hospital that operates in the poorest area of the city. We have delivered emergency aid to the hospital and we have recently started a program against female genital mutilation (FGM) that in this area t has a prevalence rate of more than 90% of the female population.

But there is not only Ethiopia, South Sudan and Djibouti. The DGCS as a whole is called to pursuit various challenges in 2014. The Director General has already listed some of them like: the reform of the Italian Development Cooperation, the Italian semester at the EU Presidency, the preparatory activities of EXPO 2015 in Milan, new NGOs calls and many more.

In front of us we now have the responsibility of implementing the new Country Programme and to do so according to strict criteria of quality, efficiency, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and transparency. But we also have a great ambition to begin right now to draw, together with our European colleagues, the new Country Program (2016 – 2018), to make it a program that would take advantage of the common presence, the comparative advantages and own capacities of various donors, allowing for a division of labor between various development partners and contributing to the overall development strategy of Ethiopia, giving strength and character to a truly European Cooperation that can take a leading role towards the Country, the international financial institutions and other major overseas donors. The we've got numbers, skills and spirit to achieve these goals.


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