Limpopo Transborder Programme
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DGCS (General Directorate for Development and Cooperation)

The DGCS (Direzione Generale Cooperazione e Sviluppo) is the section of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the investment on socio-economic and nature-based programmes in developing countries. The need for the DGCS stems from the understanding that the respect of human dignity and the economic growth are basic rights for humanity, particularly in the frame of a globalised economy charaterised by the  interdependency of widening markets.

In Italian recent history, development cooperation has been active, since the Fifties, with a number of actions in the field of technical and economic assistance, realized in former colonial countries, or administrated – as is the case of Somalia – under the UN mandate. These activities were, in their first phase, regulated by Law no. 38 of 1979; amended by Law  49 of 1987, more organic and holistic in scope.

As an essential part of our Foreign Affairs Ministry, Italian cooperation with developing countries contributes to UN efforts to combat poverty all over the world; and to help developing countries to strengthen their institutions through ‘good governance’, in respect of human rights and democratic participation to economic development – with no discriminations within social and gender actors.



The most important initiatives carried out by Italian Cooperation are:


  • G8 Plan for Africa, supporting African countries
  • G8 Plan of Action Education for All
  • G8 Genoa Action Plan to bridge the Digital Divide and Italian initiative “e-government for development”
  • Participation to rehabilitation and reconstruction in Iraq, and pacification and reconstruction in Afghanistan, as a leader in judicial institution building
  • Participation to combat famine in the world, through bilateral and multilateral initiatives: the activities of Food Security Special Fund of Fao, with Italy as first donor; the nutritional assistance interventions for development; the emergency programmes with Pam; the financiary contribution to Ifad concerning the rural development
  • The Global fund against Aids, tuberculosis and malaria
  • Support to Argentina, in response to the recent economic and financial crisis
  • Promotion of judicial and legal reforms and democratic systems in the developing countries
  • Protection of cultural and environmental patrimony
  • Women empowerment and protection
  • Combat human traffic; prevent and combat children exploitation in risky conditions, armed conflicts and work



Italian Cooperation collaborates with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy and Finance, as the main donors.
Main partners of Italian Cooperation are local and central Administrations, Universities, international Organisations, Non Governmental Organisations and private enterprises.