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Spain appoints new Director-General for Sustainable Development Policies

On October 19, 2021, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s cabinet announced the appointment of Eva del Hoyo as the new Director-General for Sustainable Development Policies (DGPOLDES).

Reporting to the foreign ministry’s State Secretariat for International Cooperation, DGPOLDES is the administrative unit charged with steering Spain’s development policy; it defines strategic priorities, provides multilateral funding, and evaluates official development assistance (ODA) spending.

Eva del Hoyo has worked at the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2009 where she has served in several positions, including as Deputy Director-General for Planning and Political Coherence.

Press release – Cooperación Española (in Spanish)

Spain renews Partnership Agreement Framework 2021-2024 with Mozambique

In a public event held at the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation's (AECID) headquarters on October 15, 2021, the Spanish State Secretary for International Cooperation, Pilar Cancela, announced the approval of the Partnership Agreement Framework (MAP) 2021-2024 between Spain and Mozambique.

With an overall budget of €47 million (US$55 million) over the 3-year period, the partnership agreement outlines Spain’s development priorities and bilateral assistance allocations in Mozambique. Spain will prioritize the promotion of health services, democratic governance, and humanitarian assistance in the country among other programs. All development cooperation interventions will be implemented under principles of gender equality, women's rights, human rights, and climate change. 

Press release – MAUC (in Spanish)

Spanish government proposes US$471 million increase in development spending in 2022 budget proposal

On October 13, 2021, the Spanish Minister of Finance and Public Function, María Jesús Montero, presented the 2022 state budget bill at the Congress of Deputies. The current government expects parliament to approve the 2022 budget before December 31, 2021.

Overall estimates of official development assistance (ODA) are not finalized; however, the Spanish government’s budget draft for 2022 includes an increase of at least €400 million (US$471 million) for budgetary envelopes concerning development policy.

The budget managed by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) increased from €384 million (US$452 million) in 2021 to €485 million (US$571 million) in 2022. 

Other agencies like the Foreign Ministry’s State Secretariat for International Cooperation (SECI) saw negligible changes. The proposed 2022 budget for the agency amounts to €295 million (US$347 million), a €2 million (US$2 million) increase compared to 2021.

According to the proposed 2022 budget bill, the Spanish government plans to create a new ODA envelope of €293 million (US$345 million), managed by the Ministry of Health, to foster universal access to COVID-19 vaccines in low- and middle-income partner countries.

Press release - la Moncloa (in Spanish)

2022 Budget Bill - Ministry of Finance (in Spanish)

Spain’s ODA at 0.28% of GNI in 2022, well below 0.5% goal, according to NGOs

Reacting to the Spanish government's recently released budget proposal for 2022, development NGOs congratulated Prime Minister Sánchez’s cabinet for planning to increase official development assistance (ODA) by approximately €400 million (US$471 million). However, they also highlighted that Spain’s development spending is well below average for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) donors and far from the Spanish government's commitment to increase ODA to 0.5% of the country’s gross national income (GNI) by 2023.

According to la Coordinadora's calculations, Spain’s ODA will amount to €3.5 billion (US$4.1 million), or 0.28% of GNI in 2022. The proposed budget would represent an overall increase of 12% in ODA compared to government estimates for 2021.

Development NGOs welcomed the €101 million (US$119 million) increase to the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation's (AECID) budget as well as the new ODA envelope consisting of €293 million (US$345 million) for COVID-19 vaccines.

La Coordinadora called upon the Spanish government to continue increasing development financing with specific measures such as providing low- and middle-income partner countries with one-half of the €11.0 billion (US$12.9 billion) assigned to Spain as Special Drawing Rights by the International Monetary Fund.  

Press release – ‘la Coordinadora‘ (in Spanish)

AECID leadership discusses Spain’s new development policy at cooperation dialogue

The new director of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), Antón Leis, participated in the event ‘Dialogues for a Transformative Cooperation’ on October 7, 2021. The event was organized by the development NGO umbrella organization ‘la Coordinadora’ at the Congress of Deputies.

Leis elaborated on the reform of Spain’s assistance system to address challenges in the global development space. He explained the primary aspects of the new law for development cooperation, which the government will send to parliament in the coming weeks.

The three pillars of the new bill are:

  1. Teamwork and collaboration;
  2. Dialogue and consensus; and
  3. Strong decision-making, including development finance and significative budgetary envelopes for Spain’s Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Press release – AECID (in Spanish)

Spain to present new development cooperation bill

On September 27, 2021, Spanish State Secretary for International Cooperation, Pilar Cancela, announced at the opening session of a parliamentary event on international cooperation held in Madrid, that the cabinet will present a new development law proposal. 

According to Cancela, the government's proposal addresses the report published a few months ago by the Congress of Deputies’ Development Committee, which contained insights and recommendations from development experts and NGO representatives.  

News article – elDiario.es (in Spanish)

Spanish development minister visits Honduras and Guatemala, announcing new partnership

In her first official trip since her appointment as State Secretary for International Cooperation, Pilar Cancela visited Honduras and Guatemala to gather information about Spain’s development cooperation programs in Central America related to education, climate change, gender, and water and sanitation.

Cancela met with government officials, parliamentarians, and representatives from multilateral organizations and local NGOs during the trip. She also participated in an event with the Guatemalan Secretary General for Planning, Keila Gramajo, to announce the approval of the new Partnership Framework Agreement (MAP) 2021-2024 that outlines Spain’s development priorities in Guatemala.

Press release – MAUC (in Spanish)

Spainish PM Sánchez supports global health initiatives and new Financial Intermediary Fund at UNGA

On September 22, 2021, at the 76th United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) plenary session, Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, addressed the importance of strengthening multilateralism and advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in order to tackle world’s existing inequities.

PM Sánchez, who primarily spoke on the COVID-19 pandemic, called for a new global health treaty for pandemic preparedness and for making sure the most vulnerable populations have equal access to COVID-19 vaccines. 

PM Sánchez additionally announced the following commitments:

  • €2 million (US$2.35 million) for Unitaidthe Access for Covid-19 Tools Accelerator’s (ACT-A) therapeutic pillar;
  • An additional 7.5 million COVID-29 vaccine donation to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, bringing Spain's total to 30 million donated doses; and
  • €30 million (US$35 million) for the climate Adaptation Fund to be disbursed in 2022, as part of Spain’s pledge for the COP26 climate talks, which will take place in Glasgow in November 2021. 

Sánchez also advocated for the creation of a new financial tool under the International Monetary Fund to support the most vulnerable countries in the post-pandemic recovery.

Press release – la Moncloa (in Spanish)

Spain announces UNGA priorities, focusing on equity

On September 21, 2021, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (MAUC) released an official document outlining Spain’s priorities ahead of the 76 United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) ministerial week.

Priorities include:

  • Promoting equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines to end the COVID-19 crisis;
  • Supporting an equitable, fair, inclusive, and resilient socio-economic recovery;
  • Strengthening multilateralism in order to effectively address global challenges;
  • Promoting peace and security;
  • Protecting vulnerable populations;
  • Advancing gender equality worldwide; and
  • Fostering ecological transition and global digitalization practices.

Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, who postponed his trip to New York due to a volcanic eruption at the Canary Islands, will present at UNGA’s plenary session on September 22, 2021.

Press release – MAUC (in Spanish)

Spanish NGOs urge Prime Minister to prioritize vulnerable populations and environment at UNGA

On September 17, 2021, the Spanish development NGO umbrella organization, la Coordinadora, sent an open letter to Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, preceding the 76 UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) ministerial week; the letter called for the PM to lead UNGA in creating positive social impact by increasing the rights and protections of both people and the planet. 

According to la Coordinadora, global economic rules must be changed in order to prioritize vulnerable populations and the environment in interventions.

Spanish NGOs called upon PM Sánchez to assume a leadership role in fostering universal, equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. Among other measures, la Coordinadora proposed that the Spanish government provide middle- and low-income partner countries with at least half of Spain’s assigned €11 billion (US$13 billion) in Special Drawing Rights (SDR).

Press release – “la Coordinadora“ (in Spanish)

Spain provides US$24 million to support Afghan refugees, focusing on quality education

Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, announced that Spain will provide €20 million (US$24 million) in humanitarian assistance to support Afghan refugee populations at the UN Afghanistan donor conference held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Minister Albares emphasized that one of Spain’s priorities is to support the most vulnerable refugees, particularly women and girls and to guarantee access to quality education for up to 2-3 million Afghan children.

Press release – MAUC

Spain to release new global health strategy

The Spanish government is currently developing a new global health strategy.

The announcement was made at an event held by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), recognizing Spain's annual September 9 Aid Workers Day.

Attendees included high-level government officials, members of parliament, NGO representatives, and development experts, including Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, and the Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Pilar Cancela.

Spain's new global health strategy will focus on individuals' 'right to health' and aims to ensure medical access for vulnerable populations. The new plan will include a Cooperation Action plan, an appeal for global universal health coverage, and coordinated collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Press release – AECID

Press release – AECID

Spanish Prime Minister meets Secretary General for Ibero-America

On September 6, 2021, Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, met with the Secretary General for Ibero-America, Rebecca Grynspan, in Madrid; the leaders reviewed key global topics concerning the Ibero-American community such as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 28 Ibero-American Summit will take place in Fall 2022 in the Dominican Republic. Grynspan, who was elected in 2014 as Secretary General for Ibero-America, will leave the position in the coming weeks.

Press release – La Moncloa

Spainish health minister calls for increased global COVID-19 vaccination distribution

The Spanish Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, called on the international community to accelerate the distribution of worldwide COVID-19 vaccines at the G20 Health Ministers meeting in Rome on September 5 and 6, 2021. 

Minister Darias emphasized that only 2% of the population in low-income countries has been vaccinated against COVID-19. To overcome the COVID-19 crisis and effectively respond to the pandemic, Darias urged G20 leaders to strengthen multilateral instruments such as the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator’s (ACT-A) vaccine initiative, COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX). In addition, Darias reiterated Spain’s engagement in the adoption of a new global treaty on pandemic preparedness.

Press release – Ministry of Health

Spain makes first delivery COVID-19 vaccine doses pledged to Latin America and Caribbean

On August 5, 2021, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation announced the first delivery of COVID-19 vaccine doses to Peru, Guatemala, Paraguay, and Nicaragua through the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator’s COVAX mechanism.

Spain committed to donating 23 million vaccine doses to middle- and low-income partner countries, with at least 8 million earmarked for Latin America and the Caribbean region. This first delivery includes more than 500,000 of the promised doses. Alongside COVAX, the Pan-American Health Organization and UNICEF will support the doses' distribution.

Press release – MAUC

Spain to strengthen food security programs in Niger

On August 5, 2021, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation announced a new development program to foster nutrition and water and sanitation standards in Niger in collaboration with the World Bank.

With an overall amount of €40 million (US$48 million) allocated for the new program, the Spanish Development Promotion Fund will provide €15 million (US$18 million), the World Bank €21 (US$25 million), and the government of Niger €4 million (US$5 million). Up to 14,000 families living in vulnerable conditions will benefit from this new program.

Press release – AECID

Multilateral development expert Antón Leis appointed new director of Spanish development agency AECID

On July 30, 2021, a few days after taking over as new State Secretary for International Cooperation, Pilar Cancela appointed Antón Leis as the new director of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).  

Leis, a development expert, worked as an advisor on multilateral affairs at the Prime Minister’s office from 2018 to 2020. Leis was working as an advisor of the Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) before his most recent appointment. He has also held several positions at the African Development Bank and the World Bank.

Press release – AECID

GPE replenishment concludes with US$4.0 billion of US$5.0 billion funding target raised by global donors

At the Global Education Summit, co-hosted by the UK and Kenya to replenish funds for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), donors raised a record US$4.0 billion in funding for educating the world's most vulnerable children between 2021 and 2026.

GPE leadership has said they hope that donors will provide additional financial support in the years to come, in order to reach the full US$5.0 billion in programming funds, which they say would enable up to 175 million children to access education and help get 88 million more young children enrolled in school by 2o25. The replenishment came against the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis; the pandemic's dramatic disruption of education worldwide is well documented and is of major concern to sector experts.

Donor contributions included:

GPE is a multi-stakeholder partnership between low- and middle-income countries, donors, multilateral and civil society organizations, foundations, and companies, founded in 2020 with the objective to give children and youth all over the world access to education.

Press release - GPE

Spain pledges US$24 million to Global Partnership for Education for 2021-2025

At the Global Education Summit, the replenishment conference of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), on July 28 and 29, 2021, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced a contribution of at least €20 million (US$24 million) for the period 2021-2025.

Historically, Spain has been a strong supporter of GPE, having contributed US$355 million since its founding in 2002. Despite a five-year gap in contributions between 2014 and 2018, Spain remains the ninth-largest donor. In February of 2018, Spain pledged US$2 million to the GPE for its 2018-2020 replenishment. 

Sánchez addressed attendees in a recorded video, making the case of the transformative power of quality, inclusive education, noting that Spain’s efforts will be primarily focused on girls education as well as on strengthening education systems in the Latin America and the Caribbean region.

GPE is a multi-stakeholder partnership between low- and middle-income countries, donors, multilateral and civil society organizations, foundations, and companies, founded in 2020 with the objective to give children and youth all over the world access to education. According to GPE, for the period between 2021 and 2025 US$5.0 billion is needed to support their work.

News article – el Diario.es

Sánchez' statement - Twitter

New Spanish foreign minister visits AECID headquarters, outlines priorities

On July 23, 2021, a few days after taking over the role as the new Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union, and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares visited the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) to meet with the leading members and introduce himself to government officials involved in development affairs.  

Albares emphasized the importance of Spain’s development policy and referred to the COVID-19 pandemic as the most pressing challenge the world is currently experiencing. He outlined universal access to new vaccines and supporting COVAX, the global vaccine initiative, as his top priorities to address.

Press release – AECID