Italy's commitment is hugely ambitious but the country is hugely off track based on DATA's trajectory. Although good progress was made in 2007 to restore previous cuts in assistance to Africa and the 2008 pipeline reveals a solid increase, Italy needs to ensure that these are sustained increases and not one-time payments. Since 2005, much of its ODA has been used to replenish arrears owed to multilateral funds but, beyond that, activity is unclear because of weak reporting on expenditures. Along with other members of the EU, Italy has failed to deliver pro-development trade reform.
Italy's total ODA to sub-Saharan Africa net of bilateral debt relief rose by €335 million ($417 million) between 2006 and 2007 to reach a total of €883 million ($1.097 billion), representing an increase of 61% in one year. However, this increase does not fully compensate for past performance. In order to be on track towards its 2010 target, Italy should have increased its ODA to the region by €973 million ($1,207 billion) in 2007. Despite a strong 2007 performance, Italy actually cut development assistance by a net €34 million ($43 million) between 2004 and 2007.
DATA estimates that Italy will allocate approximately €1,118 billion ($1,291 billion in 2004 prices) to Africa in 2008. This is an increase of €168 million ($195 million in 2004 prices), but is less than the €1.066 billion ($1,232 billion in 2004 prices) needed to get on track.