Yesterday, February 24, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lamberto Dini, decided to earmark 10 billion liras in favour of the African country. Half of those funds will be used for immediate-term emergency assistance projects to help the most vulnerable sectors of the population. The Italian Non-Governmental Organisations and religious Missions operating in Mozambique will assist in carrying these programmes out.
Furthermore, two flights have been arranged to carry relief material and basic goods from the humanitarian aid deposit run by the United Nations in Pisa. The first flight, carrying Italian aid for a value of 450 million liras, has already arrived in Mozambique through the United Nations Humanitarian Aid agency (OCHA). Another plane will leave over the coming days on board which there will be an Italian co-operation expert who will supervise the distribution and organisation of the aid.
Italy intends, moreover, to promote a conference of donor countries in favour of Mozambique - to be held possibly in Rome next March - in order to address the current emergency.
The humanitarian action now being taken in favour of Mozambique is part of an already vast programme of development aid that Italy has been conducting in this country for several years. In fact, the commitments taken by our Co-operation office and which amount to some 39 billion liras for the year 2000, place Mozambique among the major beneficiaries of our aid in Africa.