Spanish prime minister calls snap election for April 28, 2019

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has called a snap general election for April 28, 2019. The announcement came after the Spanish Congress of Deputies rejected the government’s 2019 budget on February 13, 2019. Sánchez took power in June 2018 when the parliament ousted former conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in an unprecedented no-confidence vote promoted by Sánchez' socialist party.

Transcript of address – La Moncloa (in Spanish)


Spanish SDG Commissioner calls upon private companies to help achieve 2030 Agenda

At an event organized by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and the 'la Caixa' banking foundation, Spain's High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda Cristina Gallach underlined the critical role Spanish private companies can play in the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Gallach said the socialist government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is fully engaged with the 2030 Agenda, and she announced the creation of a new consulting board on sustainable development that will gather together government officials, civil society organizations, private companies, and researchers in order foster the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Spain. 

Press release – ISGlobal (in Spanish)


Spain increases humanitarian assistance in 2019

According to the Spanish Agency for International Development Co-operation (AECID), the state budget draft for 2019 includes an envelope of €63 million (US$70 million) to be disbursed as humanitarian assistance, which represents a €20 million (US$22 million) or 17% increase compared to 2018 estimates.

Spain will also lead the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and will once again join the governing board of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in 2019. 

AECID – Press release (in Spanish)


Spain signs new development agreement with Dominican Republic

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez met the president of the Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo to sign a new country partnership framework ('Marco de Asociación País', MAP) to steer bilateral development cooperation between both countries. The MAP is a multi-annual strategy that outlines Spain’s sectoral priorities and provides estimated budget allocations for each recipient country. This new MAP for the Dominican Republic, effective for the next four years, focuses on three priorities: democratic governance, women's and girls' empowerment, and socioeconomic development. 

Press release – AECID (in Spanish)


Spain plans to disburse funding to Global Fund in 2019

At a parliamentary hearing to present the official development assistance (ODA) budget draft for 2019, Juan Pablo de Laiglesia, the Spanish secretary of state for international cooperation and Ibero-America, announced that Spain would make a contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in 2019.

According to Laiglesia, the current Spanish government is committed to resuming funding to the multilateral with a first contribution of €30 million (US$33 million) if the state budget draft is approved by Parliament. 

Congress of Deputies – Transcript of the session (in Spanish)


Spain disbursed €4.1 million to support vulnerable populations through WFP in 2018

In 2018, the Spanish Agency for International Development Co-operation AECID channeled €4.1 million (US$4.5 million) through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). Such funding contributed to fostering food security among vulnerable populations in the Sahel, Palestine, Nigeria, and among Saharawi refugees in Algeria. Spanish Secretary of State for International Co-operation and Ibero-America Juan Pablo de Laiglesia underlined in a press release that the WFP is a strategic humanitarian partner for Spain.

Press release - AECID (in Spanish)

Spain Nutrition

Spain's ODA to increase by 13% in 2019, according to government estimates

Spain’s official development assistance (ODA) will amount to €2.9 billion (US$3.3 billion in 2016 prices) or 0.23% of its gross national income in 2019, according to the Spanish government's general state budget draft. This amounts to a €336 million (US$372 million) or 13% increase compared to government estimates for 2018. Most of this increase would be allocated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, with an overall ODA budget of €759.3 million (US$840 million), and by the Ministry of Economy, which manages an ODA budget envelope of €520 million (US$575 million).

The largest ODA provider continues to be the Ministry of Finance (€1.1 billion or US$1.2 billion), as this department manages Spain’s development contributions to the European Union. The draft budget includes a €40 million (US$44.3 million) increase in Spain’s voluntary contributions to multilateral development instruments.  

ODA report, 2019 state budget bill – Congress of Deputies (in Spanish)


Think tank Elcano predicts Spain's development financing might increase due to next EU budget

The Spanish foreign affairs think tank Elcano Royal Institute has published a policy note analyzing the recent progress of Spain’s official development assistance (ODA). Elcano underlines that Spain’s development spending, which reached US$2.4 billion or 0.19% of its gross national income (GNI) in 2017, is far below Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s cabinet target of increasing ODA to 0.4% of GNI. However, while Elcano envisages some remaining budgetary limitations that may challenge the achievement of such an objective in a short-term period, it says the European Commission proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, which includes a 24% increase in ODA spending, could accelerate Spain’s development funding by 11%. 

Policy note – Elcano Institute (in Spanish)


Spanish CSOs call for Spanish government to further boost spending on global development in 2019 budget

Spanish civil society organizations such as the development NGO platform CONGDE and Oxfam Intermón reacted to the Spanish government’s 2019 budget bill. According to them, the Spanish government's proposal of increasing the official development assistance (ODA) allocated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Co-operation by €110 million (US$122 million) is clearly insufficient to reach the all-party parliamentary target of spending 0.4% of gross national income on ODA by 2020. Spanish NGOs also argued that the ruling Socialist Party is falling well short of its own promise of increasing ODA by €400 million (US$442.48 million) yearly. 

Press release – CONGDE (in Spanish)

Press release – Oxfam Intermón (in Spanish)


Spanish cabinet approves 2019 budget draft

The minority government of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has approved the state budget bill for 2019. While it respects European Commission directives to keep reducing Spain’s public deficit to 1.3% of its gross national income (GNI), the draft budget includes a significant 5.3% increase in overall public spending, from €328 billion (US$363 billion) in 2018 to €345 billion (US$383 billion) in 2019. GNI growth estimated at 2.2% is expected to drive government revenues to an historic level of €155 billion (US$171 billion).

The budget bill now goes to Parliament, which will discuss and eventually approve it by mid-March 2019. Parliamentary groups can now present amendments to the entire budget draft as well as to specific budgetary envelopes such as official development assistance (ODA). Overall ODA estimates still need to be published. However, the 2019 ODA budget allocated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Co-operation amounts to €661 million (US$731 million), an increase of €110 million (US$122) or 20% compared to 2018. 

Press release –  La Moncloa (in Spanish)