According to preliminary OECD figures, Spain spent US$1.9 billion (€1.5 billion) on net official development assistance (ODA). After four years of development budget increases, Spain started cutting its ODA in 2009 due to the economic crisis. Net ODA has decreased by almost 70% (US$4.6 billion or €3.3 billion) in real terms between 2008 and 2012. This is mainly a result of severe cuts to the budget of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC), which used to manage the largest ODA share. In relative terms, net ODA dropped from a peak of 0.46% of gross national income (GNI) in 2009 to 0.15% in 2012, a level last seen in 1989.
According to the new Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2013—2016, Spanish development policy aims at contributing to human development, poverty eradication and full exercise of human rights. The current conservative government seeks to align development cooperation more strongly with Spain’s foreign policy and economic interests, e.g. by strengthening collaboration with the private sector and focusing bilateral ODA on a reduced number of priority countries, mainly in Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East. It also plans to introduce a stronger focus on results. Civil society organizations criticize that the continued funding cuts overshadow all reform efforts, and that the Master Plan lacks any financial commitments.
Funding for global health was at US$550 million (€395 million) or 8.2% of total ODA in 2010, down from US$717 million (€516 million) in 2008. Spain has further sharply reduced its health ODA since, with cuts focusing on contributions to multilateral funds and organizations. Spain’s last disbursement to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was US$134 million (€103 million) in 2010. It failed to fulfill the 2012 commitment of €10 million (US$13 million). Spain supports the “Salud Mesoamericana 2015 Initiative” and has maintained contributions to the International Finance Facility for Immunisation in 2012. In the new Master Plan, Spain proclaims to apply an equity-based approach focused on ensuring universal coverage in public health systems.
Funding for agriculture and rural development peaked at US$860 million (€618 million) or 12.8% of total ODA in 2010, mainly due to a one-off investment in the Spanish Food Security Cofinancing Facility Trust Fund, managed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Agriculture and food security became a priority after the food crisis in 2007/2008, but funding has sharply decreased since 2010, although the government stressed that food security will remain a high-level priority for Spain. According to the Master Plan, Spanish assistance in the agriculture sector focuses on support to small-scale farmers, particularly women.
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