The Italian Government is one of the main contributors to FAO's extra budgetary funding sources with a recent approval level of US$40 million in 2004. Since the signature of the first project in 1979. more than 70 countries have benefited from the generous support of Italy for a total value of over US$600 million.
- The FAO/Government of Italy Cooperative Programme
Also called the "Traditional Programme", this fund concentrates on three technical sectors: food security; environment and sustainable development; policy assistance and capacity building. Forty projects in 27 countries are presently under implementation within this programme for a total budget of approximately US$78 million. Over 50% of these projects are concentrated in Africa, the Mediterranean region, and the Near East.
- The Global Trust Fund for Food Security and Food Safety
The Italian Government has contributed 67 million euros to FAO's Global Trust Fund for Food Security and Food Safety, which was established at the World Food Summit 5 years later to provide new impetus to the global fight against hunger. The funds have been earmarked for 18 projects in three critical areas of intervention: food security; the fight against transboundary animal and plant diseases; and advocacy activities to boost public and private investment in the agricultural and rural sector. The strategy of the programme is based on a regional/sub regional approach aiming to promote regional integration at both the economic and policy level.
- Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation activities
Since 1994, Italy has funded 49 emergency relief and rehabilitation projects for a total value of over US$30 million. The majority of the projects, 37 are concentrated in Africa with a total of US$20 million in funding.
Currently Italy is funding 13 emergency projects, mostly in Africa but also in Latin-America as well as in the countries affected by the tsunami tidal wave. In 2005 the Italian Civil Protection Department contributed for the first time to FAO's emergency activities, allocating € 3 million to FAO's post tsunami rehabilitation activities in Sri Lanka.
- The Associate Professional Officers Programme (APO)
The Associate Professional Officers Programme offers young professionals an opportunity to gain experience in development, international cooperation and the United Nations working environment. The Programme is based on the sponsorship of young professionals by their respective governments.
Since 1994, Italy has sponsored 33 young professionals, with currently nine APOs receiving funding.
- The Decentralized Cooperation Programme
The FAO Decentralized Cooperation Programme (DCP) helps to create networks of local government institutions in developed and developing countries with the aim of combating hunger and malnutrition. Direct city-to-city or region-to-region collaboration is promoted with FAO acting as both a catalyst and a provider of external support and technical guidance.
The Italian Government has taken a decisive lead in promoting the participation of Italy's local governments in FAO field projects within the framework of world food security. In September 2002, FAO and the Director General for Development Cooperation (DGCS) at the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MAE) signed an agreement establishing the Italy-FAO Decentralized Cooperation Programme (IFDCP). The agreement aims at establishing cooperative networks comprising local entities in developed and developing countries and focuses on practical objectives which often follow previous city to city arrangements. FAO acts as a catalyst and provider of technical guidance and coordination. Present cooperation activities involve a number of regions, provinces, municipalities in Italy with operational projects in Senegal, Rwanda and Brazil as well as a number of projects at various stages of formulation.
Italy is sustaining the Partnership on Education for Rural People in Africa, Asia, the Balkans and Latin America.
Soil protection measures in Tunisia. More than 3 000 ha of land have been directly protected from soil erosion and hundreds of hectares have been recovered planting olives and fruit trees.