Last updated : April 2017. US$ amounts in this profile are shown in 2015 prices. PDF will be available shortly.
Strategic priorities
  • Spain seeks to establish new models of development cooperation with countries transitioning to high-income status. This includes ‘triangular’ cooperation – multi-partner initiatives carried out jointly by an industrialized country, an emerging economy and a recipient country.
  • Spain’s government, since 2011 under the leadership of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, has been particularly sensitive to limiting the impact of ODA on Spain’s public deficit. Development spending cuts have been mostly focused on decreasing voluntary contributions to multilateral instruments and humanitarian aid.
  • Agriculture and food security together are a key priority of Spanish ODA. Health has traditionally been a priority sector but in recent years, funding levels have been low (US$97 million in 2015).
Key opportunities
  • The New Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2017-2020, which includes Spain’s strategic development priorities is currently being drafted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC).  It is expected to be presented in 2017, yet it is currently unknown when exactly this will be.
  • The Development Committee’s non-binding resolution to increase ODA from 0.12% in 2015 to 0.40% of GNI by 2020 may generate further resources for development programs. Spanish economic growth is expected to continue to recover (GDP growth is estimated at 2.3% in 2017 and 2.1% in 2018).
  • Under Spain’s current minority government, Parliament is now in a key, strategic position to influence the government’s decision-making and the budget, including for ODA. This brings about opportunities to increase ODA funding and shape allocations. The new parliament is expected to be largely supportive of development cooperation.
  • In November 2016 the Spanish Congress’ Development Committee approved an all-party resolution calling for an overall pledge to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), of €100 million for 2017-2019 (with €30 million to be disbursed in 2017)

Key Questions

the big six

Spain has a traditional cooperation relationship with Peru, where it focuses on enhancing civil society’s capacities and fostering democratic participation

Spain

Outlook

How will Spain's ODA develop? — What will Spain's ODA focus on? —What are key opportunities for shaping Spain's development policy? read more

How will Spain’s ODA develop?

  • Spain’s ODA is expected to increase as the economy recovers. The Congress’ Development Committee approved a resolution in November 2016 for Spain’s ODA to reach 0.4% of its GNI by 2020.
  • Spain is likely to increase its use of ODA loans and equity investments in coming years. This is related to Spain’s strong focus on middle-income countries (MICs), with which it currently seeks to establish new models of development cooperation.

What will Spain’s ODA focus on?

  • To increase the effectiveness of its development assistance, Spain reduced its number of priority countries from 50 in 2013 to 23 by the end of 2016; almost all of the 23 priority countries are located in three regions: Latin America (12), sub-Saharan Africa (6) and the Middle East and North Africa region (4).
  • Funding to sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow as Spain will move away from financing Latin America and middle-income countries (MICs), thereby freeing up resources in the form of new grants multilateral funding arrangements.

  • Spain has developed strong capacities to cooperate with MICs: it is focusing on innovative development modalities (e.g., triangular partnerships, blended finance) to adapt to its traditional partner countries’ needs. This focus on MICs is also driven by the will to align Spain’s foreign policy, including ODA, with its economic interests.

What are key opportunities for shaping Spain’s development policy?

  • Under Spain’s current minority government, Parliament is now in a key, strategic position to influence the government’s decision-making and the budget, including for ODA. Given Parliament’s demonstrated commitment to ODA, this represents an opportunity to advocate to members of Parliament for increased ODA funding and influence allocations.
  • The new government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, in place since November 2016, has led to a change in political leadership at Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC). This may also lead to shifts in priorities, and provides an opportunity to shape Spain’s development cooperation going forward.
  • New Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2017-2020 is currently being drafted by MAEC and will outline strategic development and financing priorities for the coming years.