Aid performance and its determinants. A comparison of Italy with the OECD norm
This paper argue that Italy's aid performance is problematic in more than one respect. To start with, the country's aid volume is low in relation to whatever normative or positive benchmark is utilized, and a minimum of € 1.4-2.8 billion is required to reach the aid level warranted by its specifie macroeconomic, structural and institutional conditions. lts performance is weak not only in relation to the average DAC behaviour, but also to that of other less prosperous Southern European countries. In addition, the level of arrears (signaling a weak aid administration), though falling in relation to the past, remains high. This paper also shows that the ltalian aid gap - relative to an unimpressive DAC average behaviour -persists even when accounting for the country's unfavourable conditions (and, in some cases, one wonders whether these are justifiable), regardless of the politieal orientation of the various governments that succeeded themselves at the helm of the country. The achievement of international targets is becoming more and more distant over time - and reaching these objectives, to whieh now the main European partners of Italy are firmly committed, will require a large budgetary effort. lt is time the country respects the international obligations it has underwritten and starts playing also in the field of foreign aid a role consistent with its economie weight, history, geography and collective ethic.
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