SPAIN - OUTLOOK
In light of the government’s continuing austerity policy, the sharply reduced ODA budget is expected to remain low in the coming years. Many in Spain’s development community warn that the current budget cuts will lead to a loss of Spain’s credibility and influence in the international development community (such as the OECD DAC) and in the wider foreign policy context.
In response to the negative economic climate, the government is increasingly aligning development policy with Spain’s core economic and foreign policy interests. This implies a strong regional focus on middle-income countries in Latin America (and to a lesser degree on the MENA region and West Africa), and an attempt to link development policy to a broader marketing campaign (known as “Marca España”) aimed at improving Spain’s image abroad and boosting foreign trade. Increasing the share of loans and strengthening cooperation with the private sector are considered key elements by the government to further reduce public expenditures for development.
Health has been one of the sectors most severely affected by the cuts of the past years. Despite the government’s initial pledge to prioritize health, funding continues to decline. Spain has particularly slashed its formerly strong financial support to multilateral bodies like the Global Fund. To live up to its binding commitments, Spain will continue to support IFFIm, which will be one of the few multilateral health instruments to receive significant funding from Spain in 2013.
Within agriculture and food security, the government is attempting to counterbalance sharply decreased funding by assuming a leadership role in non-budget-related international initiatives. It hosts the WFP’s new humanitarian aid logistics center on the Canary Islands, which might open up further opportunities for technical cooperation between the WFP and Spain. Spain also co-chaired the post-2015 development agenda consultation on hunger, food security and nutrition. This indicates that food security may continue to be a high-level priority for Spain. However, it is unclear whether Spain will meet its commitments to multilateral initiatives like the GAFSP in 2013.
the Spain profile