Frattini article on development's aid

Below the article of the Italian foreign minister, Franco Frattini, published by the daily L’Osservatore Romano on July 10 2009 with headline “Public-private partnerships against poverty.”

In preparing the meeting for the Italian Presidency of the G8 there has been a great interest to the words of Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, president of Caritas International, which on “L’Osservatore Romano” of June 26 last year claimed a “conversion from the old system of blind greed in a system where our eyes open to justice and dignity for all “.

Justice and dignity are the essential prerequisites for the action of a government, but they are so particularly now for Italy and for development cooperation.

The constraints and the urgency of economic recovery have unfortunately forced to cut the official development assistance in 2009. But this was a limited and contingent move. This was indeed an ‘negative exception’: the funds allocated in 2009 for co-operation have been reduced, but in 2oo8 Italian aid amounted to over 4.8 million dollars, equivalent to 0.22 percent of GDP an increase of 850 million dollars compared to 2007.

The goal remains to reach 0.7 percent of GDP by 2015, as provided by international commitments. The goal is pursued along two parallel lines.

The first, in the long term, deals with ways to make more effective aid. There is, paradoxically, a good part of the crisis: that requires a better use of resources and a responsibility that requires both the donor and the good. Nothing new. The Paris Declaration about aid’s effectiveness provided a basis for mutual accountability between donor countries and institutions. But this now becomes binding.

To point to a coherent and coordinated response to the crisis is so necessary to aim at a comprehensive development, which is to create conditions for mobilizing all the synergies of the country, or all those factors that contribute to sustainable development. Thanks to innovative financing or even the enhancement of the role of remittances of migrants, namely the voluntary contribution that migrants provide to their families.

It is being studied, for example – in an international setting and with the World Bank – a proposal to meet the ‘5 for 5 ‘: namely the reduction in global terms, the average cost of sending remittances by about 10 per current one hundred to 5 percent within 5 years.

This is a reduction of about 5th percent that is calculated, would create an increase in the migrant’s income amounted to 13-15 billion dollars.

The second policy in the medium term, concerns the way in which its synergy with the whole country and the international community, from an alliance between public and private sectors. Thus, already since last December, has got a simple survey of the impact of interventions in the Italian programs. The early data obtained shows that, in the period 2006-2008, there are 521 Italian companies which hold funds projects related to operations of the Directorate General for Development Cooperation. 39 of these  were subsequently rooted on the territories in which they operated, and are 237 Italian companies that have worked with on the spot financing themselves from other sources.

The private sector is active in the areas in the developing world, and not only in the short term. And this is the first step towards a broader strategy.

Only through a synergy between public and private efforts will increase the capacity of the system of aid. Greater and more comprehensive partnership of business, particularly enterprises, will achieve objectives such as a faster rooting of cooperative activities in developing countries and export of good models of production and management.

Export-good production pattern as that of Italian does not mean to impose but to show a model. Contributing to the eradication of poverty means to propose models of virtuous private development. This also give examples of entrepreneurial organization of partner countries that can help prevent illegal immigration.

The synergy between public and private may give new impetus to cooperation, promoting new wealth, especially for Africa. And, along with wealth, a new dignity.

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