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Donor Tracker to host webinar on education in emergencies

Join the Donor Tracker on Tuesday, November 24, 2020, at 15:00-16:00 CET for a webinar addressing education in emergencies, featuring experts from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), a global fund and partnership to improve education in lower-income countries, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency.

The growth of protracted conflicts and the increasing prevalence of emergencies globally have impacted the educational opportunities of millions of children. Precarious humanitarian situations around the world have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. With just ten years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), amid a global pandemic, prioritizing the educational needs of the world’s most vulnerable children is more important than ever.

However, are donors dedicating sufficient attention to education in emergencies? Join the webinar for a discussion on financing needs, donor priorities, and policy trends in the sector.

This webinar complements our recently published report, ‘Decades of neglect: Donor financing for education in emergencies’.

Registration - Zoom

Report - Donor Tracker

Spanish NGOs propose amendments to government’s 2021 budget bill

The Spanish development NGO umbrella organization ‘La Coordinadora’ published a position paper with proposals and symbolic amendments to increase development spending in the general state budget bill for 2021.

Among other measures, La Coordinadora proposes to increase the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation's (AECID) budget by €230 million (US$271 million) and to reduce that amount from the Ministry of Defense's budget.

Spain’s 2021 budget bill is currently being discussed at the Congress of Deputies. Before its final approval by the beginning of 2021, parliamentary groups can present concrete amendments to influence specific budgetary envelopes such as development spending.

Press release – La Coordinadora (in Spanish)

Spain announces US$59 million pledged to Gavi in June will go exclusively to COVAX AMC

While virtually attending the November 2020 Paris Peace Forum (an annual meeting to improve global governance), Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced that the €50 million (US$59 million) that Spain pledged to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in June 2020 will be entirely funneled into the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for increased COVID-19 vaccine access for low- and middle-income countries.

During his speech, Sánchez underlined the importance of developing new vaccines to effectively tackle the COVID-19 crisis. He also reminded audiences that vaccines for HIV and malaria have not yet been developed, and he stated that international cooperation and multilateralism should be strengthened in order to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

Spain leads global joint statement to strengthen multilateralism

On November 10, 2020, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez hosted a high-level meeting in Madrid to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the UN. The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and heads of state and government from Sweden, Canada, South Korea, Costa Rica, South Africa, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Jordan, and Senegal virtually participated in this event. 

This group of donor and partner countries convened to publish the call to action ‘Joint Statement: Reinforcing Multilateralism Together', with the ambition of reinforcing multilateral institutions, advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and taking concrete measures to address global challenges in key areas such as global health, climate change, gender equality, and digitalization.

This initiative will be shared with other countries to actively mobilize the international community around the following goals:

  • Reduce inequality and leave no one behind;
  • Improve conditions for health, health preparedness, and effectiveness of global health systems;
  • Protect our planet;
  • Promote peace, security, and justice;
  • Defend human rights, democracy, and gender equality;
  • Take "advantage of the digital revolution"; and
  • Ensure sustainable financing.

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

UN adopts resolution promoted by Spain to protect women and girls through COVID-19 response; US disassociates from sexual and reproductive health phrases

On November 10, 2020, the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) adopted a resolution with the goal of placing women and girls at the heart of the global response against the COVID-19 crisis and recovery.

Presented and promoted by Spain, and including more than 80 country co-sponsors, this UN resolution claims to guarantee that the COVID-19 crisis will not disproportionally affect women’s and girls' rights and quality of life. Among other topics, it includes specific references to women's rights to influence the pandemic response, the need to keep working to effectively end gender-based violence, the importance of advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), the value of front-line women providing health and care services, the role of civil society organizations, and the right to quality education for everyone.

The US Mission to the UN, which presented several amendments to the draft resolution that were not approved by the UN General Assembly, published a statement disassociating itself from the paragraphs mentioning terms such as “sexual and reproductive health” and “sexual and reproductive health-care services”, due to what it sees as "the promotion of abortion or a right to abortion that are unacceptable to our Administration".

Press release – Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAEUEC)

Meeting coverage – United Nations

Statement – US Mission to the UN

Spanish CSOs join GPE’s education financing campaign

On November 6, 2020, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) co-hosted, in collaboration with several Spanish organizations, a virtual event to launch its ‘Raise Your Hand’ financing campaign in Spain to raise awareness about the need to continue investing in global education, especially in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

GPE hosted the event in collaboration with ProFuturo, a Spanish digital education program led by the Telefónica and ‘la Caixa' Foundations, as well as the Spanish Campaign for Global Education (CME), which was formed by development NGOs working on education issues.

The Spanish Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Ángeles Moreno, and the Spanish Olympic swimmer, Teresa Perales, also took part in GPE’s event.

Press release - CME (in Spanish)

Press release - ProFuturo (in Spanish)

Spanish ODA budget bill for 2021 set at US$3.7 billion, or 0.25% of GNI

The Spanish Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Ángeles Moreno, made an address at the Congress of Deputies’ Development Committee to outline the official development assistance (ODA) 2021 budget.

According to Moreno, Spain’s ODA will amount to €3.1 billion (US$3.7 billion), or 0.25% of the country’s gross national income (GNI) in 2021. This represents a US$1.1 billion increase (+43%) compared to the 2020 budget, and a US$706 million increase (+23%) when compared with 2019 ODA disbursements.

The Spanish parliament is currently discussing the general state budget for 2021. Meanwhile, the 2018 state budget continues to apply, as the Spanish government has not been able to pass a new budget in the parliament since then.

News article – Agencia EFE (in Spanish)

Spanish NGO publishes annual report on global education, makes recommendations to achieve SDG 4

On October 28, 2020, the Spanish development and faith-based organization Entreculturas released its annual report, this year titled ‘The return to school: a global challenge in the shadow of the pandemic’, which analyzed the current state of global education and made recommendations on how to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on quality education.

Entreculturas also called on the Spanish government to strengthen global education policies and increase funding to multilateral instruments such as the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), a fund dedicated to improving education in low-income countries.

Press release - Entreculturas (in Spanish)

Report - Entreculturas (in Spanish)

Spanish foreign ministry's ODA envelopes to increase by 21% in 2021

On October 28, 2020, the Spanish cabinet approved the state budget bill for 2021, which will be discussed and eventually approved by the parliament by the beginning of next year. According to the budget bill, official development assistance (ODA) funding packages at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union, and Cooperation would increase by 21% compared to the current ODA budget for 2020.

The ODA budget bill, to be managed by the Spanish foreign ministry, will be around €670 million (US$790 million). While the ODA budget of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation will increase from €323 million (US$381 million) in 2020 to €377 million (US$444 million) in 2021, the ODA budget allocation for the Secretary of State for International Cooperation (SECI) will increase from €229 million (US$270 million) to €293 million (US$345 million).

Overall estimates for Spanish ODA in 2021 will be published by the Spanish parliament in the coming weeks.

State Budget Bill for 2021 – Ministry of Finance (in Spanish)

Spanish government approves 2021 budget bill

On October 27, 2020, the Spanish cabinet approved the state budget bill for 2021, which will be discussed and eventually approved by Parliament by the beginning of next year. According to the budget bill estimates, the overall government spending for 2021 will amount to €236.3 billion (US$278.5 billion).

The public spending in the national health system will amount to €3.2 billion (US$3.7 billion), or a 75% increase compared to 2020 figures, while the spending in research, development, and digitalization will amount to €11.5 billion (US$13.5 billion), or an 80% increase compared to 2020.

Government estimates for official development assistance (ODA) will be published in the coming days. According to several Spanish media, Spain’s development financing may increase by 20% in 2021. The budget bill envelope of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, which includes ODA and other budgetary lines, amounts to €1.4 billion (US$2.0 billion), a 20% increase from 2020 to 2021.

Press release - La Moncloa (in Spanish)

Press release - Ministry of Finance (in Spanish)

News article - Europa Press (in Spanish)

Spanish NGOs ask for US$1.1 billion increase in development spending in 2021 budget

While the Spanish government announced the 2021 budget bill would be presented on October 27, 2020, the development NGO umbrella organization, ‘La Coordinadora’, released a policy paper analyzing recent financial trends of Spain’s official development assistance (ODA) and underlining the importance of development financing during the COVID-19 crisis.

According to La Coordinadora, the Spanish general state budget for 2021 should include a €900 million (US$1.1 billion) increase in development spending in order to pave the way for the government’s target to build Spain’s ODA to 0.5% of its gross national income (GNI) by 2023. Development NGOs have also urged the government to increase humanitarian assistance and multilateral development assistance contributions.

Press release - La Coordinadora (in Spanish)

Report - La Coordinadora (in Spanish)

Australia commits US$7 million as part of pledge to replenish Global Agriculture and Food Security Program

Australia has committed A$10 million (US$7 million) as part of the first replenishment period for the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP). Other donors to contribute to the replenishment were Germany, Norway, and Spain as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In total, US$300 million in contributions was announced.

Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Alex Hawke, emphasized Australia’s long-standing role as a supporter of the GAFSP because the organization has a proven track record in assisting smallholder farmers and could play an important role in reducing hunger during the COVID-19 crisis.

News article - ReliefWeb

Spain to extend debt moratorium for Sahel region until 2021

Spanish Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Ángeles Moreno, participated at the virtual high-level meeting ‘The Economic Challenges from the Security Crisis in the Sahel’ organized by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on October 8, 2020.

Moreno announced that Spain will extend the debt moratorium to the Sahel region until 2021 to help countries like Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad effectively manage the current security crisis and address the negative effects of the COVID-19 crisis. Moreno emphasized the intimate links between security, sustainable development, and humanitarian assistance.  

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

Spanish cabinet approves record increase amounting to US$232.0 billion in 2021 budget spending

The Spanish government, under Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, approved the public spending ceiling for 2021, which will amount to €196.1 billion (US$232.0 billion). This is the overall spending of the general state budget for 2021 and represents a historic increase of 53% compared with 2020 figures.

Spain’s public deficit will lead to 7.7% of its gross national income (GNI) in 2021. According to the government’s economic forecast, which was published on October 6, 2020, together with the 2021 spending ceiling approval, Spain’s GNI will drop by 11.2% in 2020 and increase again by 7.2% in 2021.

With the overall spending approved, Sánchez plans to present the 2021 budget bill to the parliament in the following weeks. Notably, due to years of political instability, the 2018 budget of conservative former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy continues to apply in Spain.  

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

Spain approves Country Partnership Framework, will provide Jordan with US$89 million for 2020-2024

The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, met with several members of the Jordanian government in order to strengthen the bilateral cooperation between Spain and Jordan.

On the occasion of these meetings, the Spanish development agency AECID (Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation) approved the new Country Partnership Framework 2020-2024, which sets the basis for Spain’s development cooperation priorities in Jordan. In addition to that, Laya announced that Spain will provide up to €75 million (US$89 million) to foster sustainable development in Jordan during the period of 2020-2024.

Press release – MAUC (in Spanish)

Spanish Prime Minister Sánchez outlines key financial measures to advance SDGs

At the high-level meeting ‘Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond” (co-hosted by the United Nations, Jamaica, and Canada), Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez urged the global community to set a series of socio-economic and financial measures to foster the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Sánchez underlined development financing as indispensable to tackling the current COVID-19 crisis and improving global health, quality education, and nutrition standards worldwide. Among other measures, Sánchez recommended postponing the G20’s (Group of Twenty, international forum for economic cooperation) ‘Debt Service Suspension Initiative’ until 2021. He also recommended creating an international financial mechanism to facilitate debt swap operations in middle- and low-income countries to increase funding to global health and climate change policies.

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

At UNGA, Spain's Sánchez calls for strengthening multilateralism

On September 25, 2020, during the plenary session of the 75th UN General Assembly (UNGA), Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called for strengthening international cooperation and multilateralism in order to effectively address the most pressing current global challenges.

Sánchez’s speech mostly centered around the COVID-19 crisis, as well as other topics including climate change, poverty reduction, digitalization, and gender equality. Sánchez advocated for strengthening and prioritizing the World Health Organization, and he proposed to launch a "Global Health Deal” to advance epidemic preparedness standards and universal health coverage worldwide.

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

Spain and IFAD to cooperate on rural development initiatives

The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (MAEUEC) and its State Secretariat for International Cooperation have approved a ‘Framework Co-Funding Agreement’ with the UN's International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). This new agreement, which aims to strengthen the financial collaborations between Spain and IFAD, will serve to foster rural development and fight hunger in low- and middle-income countries.

While the MAUEC has not published any indication about the amount that Spain will provide to this collaboration, during 2010-2020 it disbursed up to €300 million (US$355 million) to IFAD. According to the MAEUEC, Spain will most likely host the UN summit on agricultural systems in 2021.

Press release – MAEUEC (in Spanish)

Spain outlines priorities ahead of United Nations General Assembly week

The Spanish 'Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union, and Cooperation' (MAEUEC) has launched a position paper outlining Spain’s priorities in recognition of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, which will be held from September 17-October 5, 2020.

The MAEUEC priorities include:

  • Cooperation in a global response against COVID-19;
  • Multilateralism and UN system reform;
  • Human rights, with a special focus on women's and girls’ empowerment;
  • Peace and security; and
  • Sustainable development, climate change, and social justice.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will participate at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) plenary session on September 22. Sánchez will also be present at the UN High-Level Meeting on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing declaration on women on October 1.

In turn, the Spanish foreign minister Arancha González Laya will host and participate into other events including, for instance, the UN Women’s ‘High-Level Event on Economic Justice and Rights: 25 Years after Beijing’, to be held on September 28, and the UN Secretary General’s ‘High-Level Meeting on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond’ that will take place on September 29.

Press release – MAEUEC (in Spanish)

Spain and Costa Rica strengthen cooperation in global fight against COVID-19

On September 21, 2020, within the context of the current UN General Assembly session, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of Spain met with President Carlos Alvarado of Costa Rica.

Sánchez and Alvarado discussed the current global situation regarding the COVID-19 crisis and agreed on the need to increase multilateral funding to help middle-income countries to effectively address the pandemic. Sánchez congratulated Alvarado for Costa Rica’s recent inclusion at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)