Policy Updates

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Spain and Portugal join efforts to influence EU’s response to COVID-19

On July 6, 2020, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez met with Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa in Lisbon, Portugal, to discuss the global situation regarding COVID-19 and to jointly define a common position ahead of the upcoming European Council meeting to be held on July 17 and 18, 2020.

The Prime Ministers of both nations discussed working together for strengthening EU institutions and reaching an agreement on the European recovery fund on COVID-19 and the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period.

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

Donor Tracker to host webinar on donors’ international COVID-19 response following Global Goal Summit pledges

On July 2, 2020, from 16:00-17:00 (CEST), Donor Tracker will host a second webinar on donor countries’ international COVID-19 responses following the Global Goal Summit. The Summit, held on June 27, raised US$6.9 billion for developing globally accessible COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments.

The Donor Tracker's expert team will analyze the Summit's outcomes and discuss implications for donor countries’ further international responses to the pandemic.

Registration - Zoom 

Spain participates in G5 Sahel summit in Mauritania

Spain's Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, participated at the G5 Sahel Summit held on June 30, 2020, in Nouakchott, Mauritania, where he reiterated Spain’s strong commitment towards the Sahel region and underlined his government’s commitment to supporting people and institutions affected by terrorism and associated security crisis in the region. 

Since Mauritania is one of Spain’s 'priority partners' for development cooperation, Prime Minister Sánchez also met bilaterally with the president of Mauritania and extended the Spanish government's support for addressing the COVID19 crisis in the country, including through providing humanitarian and medical supplies to the Mauritanian authorities.

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

Spain pledges US$11 million at Global Goal Summit

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez participated at the 'Global Goal: Unite for Our Future' COVID19 pledging summit. This event, held on June 27, was co-hosted by European Commission and the international advocacy NGO 'Global Citizen' and was aimed at raising finances for developing globally accessible COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments. 

Prime Minister Sánchez announced that Spain will provide €10 million (US$11 million) to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) aimed at combating hunger and guaranteeing nutrition standards in partner countries severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

In response to the summit, Sánchez reiterated Spain’s engagement in the global response against COVID-19 and also expressed support for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the ACT-Accelerator initiative. Furthermore, Sánchez called upon the international community to take action for protecting the most vulnerable populations worldwide, particularly women and girls.  

 

Press release – European Commission

Video – Pedro Sánchez's Twitter profile (in Spanish)

Spain's Sánchez leads high-level summit on COVID-19 response in Latin America, Caribbean

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez hosted the 'United for joint response against COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean' conference in Madrid on June 24, 2020. This high-level conference was attended by governments and multilateral financial institutions and was aimed at reviewing and discussing measures for combating the current COVID-19 situation in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region. 

LAC is one of the most severely affected regions as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and its socio-economic consequences. For this reason, Sánchez called upon international and regional financial institutions to collectively develop effective responses and necessary tools for combating the crisis.

The summit was attended by head-of-state representatives from Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Paraguay, Perú, and Uruguay, as well as high-level officials from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Central American Economic Integration Bank, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the General Secretariat for Ibero-America, and the Caribbean Community.

Press release – La Moncloa

Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister announces Spain's ODA will increase to 0.5% GNI by 2023

The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, has announced that Spain’s official development assistance (ODA) will increase to 0.5% of its gross national income (GNI) by 2023. The announcement was made at the Spanish Congress of Deputies' development commitment hearing which was aimed at reviewing the Spanish government’s plans for development cooperation during the current legislature. 

Minister González Laya announced that Spain’s development policy has been restructured to support low- and middle-income countries in addressing the COVID-19 crisis. Accordingly, key development priorities will include:

Vertical priorities

  • Global health, nutrition, water, and sanitation;
  • Climate change;
  • Education; and
  • Socioeconomic progress.

Horizontal priorities

  • Feminist development policy;
  • Human rights;
  • Humanitarian assistance; and
  • Innovative partnerships.

Minister González Laya also presented Spain's 'Joint Response Strategy', a strategic plan aimed at responding to COVID-19 globally. This plan will focus Spain’s development efforts on humanitarian and emergency assistance, multilateralism, and capacity building in partner countries.

Press release – Cooperación Española, MAEUEC (in Spanish)

Spain's AECID coordinates efforts with regional governments to strengthen humanitarian assistance

On June 8, 2020, the Spanish development agency (AECID) hosted a meeting with local and regional government representatives to review Spain’s global response to COVID-19 and to coordinate humanitarian assistance efforts.

The AECID and several regional representatives agreed to strengthen their humanitarian efforts to effectively address the COIVID-19 pandemic in partner countries including by disbursing up to €1.6 million (US$1.7 million) to multilateral instruments working in addressing the COVID19 crisis in emergency contexts, such as the International Committee for Red Cross and the World Food Program.

Press release – AECID (in Spanish)

Spanish CSO platform calls upon government to taking international leadership against COVID-19

The Spanish civil society platform 'Futuro en Común' comprising of development NGOs and other organizations advocating for the 2030 Agenda, released a report containing proposals for addressing the COVID-19 crisis and associated consequences.

In the report, Futuro en Común called upon Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’ cabinet to:

  • assume a leadership role at the global stage;
  • prioritize the 2030 Agenda;
  • strengthen Spain’s international development cooperation; and
  • increase Spain’s official development assistance to 0.7% of its gross national income by 2030.

 

Press release – La Coordinadora

Report – Futuro en Común (in Spanish)

At Gavi's Global Vaccine Summit, world leaders exceed funding target with historic US$8.8 billion

Representatives of 52 countries, including 35 heads of state, joined the June 5, 2020, Global Vaccine Summit, convened by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to raise a total of US$8.8 billion in financing for childhood immunizations and vaccine infrastructure. World leaders, meeting with representatives of 12 organizations and corporations for the London-based pledging moment, hoped to reach a US$7.4 billion funding target. By the time the pledging ended, the target had been overshot by US$1.4 billion.

Against the backdrop of a still-raging COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands and laid waste to the global economy, attendees of the summit spoke passionately about the need for global cooperation and solidarity in ensuring that a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, once developed, be accessible to all.

The US$8.8 billion will support Gavi's campaign to vaccinate 300 million children in the world's poorest countries against diseases including diphtheria, polio, and measles by 2025. Disruptions to Gavi's regular immunization activities, caused by COVID-19, have endangered an estimated 80 million children under one year old. The funding will also bolster Gavi's efforts in strengthening health systems in low-income states which have been ravaged by the pandemic and will help build out infrastructure to support the eventual provision of a vaccine against the virus.

A further US$567 million was also raised for 'Gavi Advance Market Commitment for COVID-19 Vaccines' (Gavi Covax AMC), a new financing instrument designed to provide access to the eventual COVID-19 vaccine specifically in low- and middle-income countries.

“To beat the COVID-19 pandemic, the world needs more than breakthrough science. It needs breakthrough generosity,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “...When COVID-19 vaccines are ready, this funding and global coordination will ensure that people all over the world will be able to access them.”

Press release - Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Spain pledges US$55 million at Gavi’s Global Vaccine Summit; 100% increase from 2016.

At the Global Vaccine Summit, convened by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in London on June 4, 2020, Spain pledged €50 million (US$55 million) for the period of 2025-2035. This represents a 100% increase from 2016 when Spain did not make any pledges. This funding will be channeled through the International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm). 

Spain was represented at the event by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who advocated for global immunization programs and universal health coverage, and underlined the need for directing further global health efforts into Latin America.

Press release – la Moncloa (in Spanish)

Spain Donor Profile - Gavi 

 

Spain’s Foreign Minister hosts bilateral meetings with African ministers

On June 2 and 3, 2020, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, held several videoconference meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, and Mauritania. These meetings were aimed at reviewing and analyzing the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa. Minister González Laya conveyed Spain’s support for promoting bilateral cooperation and discussed other topics of mutual interest including democratic governance, human rights, security, and socioeconomic progress.

Press release – MAEUEC (in Spanish)

Spanish NGO platform holds annual general assembly

The Spanish development NGO umbrella organization ‘La Coordinadora’ held its 38th ordinary annual assembly through a videoconference, which was virtually attended by members from 76 partner NGOssalong with the Spanish foreign ministry’s Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Ángeles Moreno. During the meeting, La Coordinadora emphasized the importance of Spanish development cooperation and official development assistance (ODA) for effectively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Secretary of State Ángeles Moreno reiterated the current government’s commitment to increasing Spain’s ODA to 0.5% of the gross national income by 2023.

Press release – La Coordinadora (in Spanish)

Spain's Sánchez calls for global solidarity in COVID-19 response

Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, participated in the 'High-Level Event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond', which was virtually hosted by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Prime Minister of Canada - Justin Trudeau, and Prime Minister of Jamaica - Andrew Holness.

The only way to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sánchez said, is through international cooperation, multilateralism, and solidarity. He underlined that his cabinet is fully committed to supporting such international efforts and outlined Spain’s strategic priorities to address COVID-19 in middle- and low-income countries; which include provisions for strengthening public health systems, protecting human and social rights, and supporting social protection, particularly focusing on gender equality.

Press release – la Moncloa (in Spanish)

Spainish Prime Minister Sánchez joins launch of 'Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator'

Together with other world leaders, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez joined the 'Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator', an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) aimed at coordinating efforts on the development, production, and distribution of COVID-19 health tools. 

In his speech, Prime Minister Sánchez praised the ACT Accelerator as a unique coordination mechanism for advancing research and development of affordable biomedical tools to address the pandemic. Sánchez underscored the importance of guaranteeing universal access to new COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics and reiterated Spain’s strong commitment to UN institutions and the WHO.

News article – El Diario (in Spanish)

Twitter - Pedro Sánchez

Spain’s humanitarian assistance to support vulnerable populations affected by COVID19

The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation ‘AECID’ has announced an additional humanitarian assistance package to help addresss COVID19 impacts amongst vulnerable populations in middle- and low-income partner countries. AECID will provide with €304,000 (US$330,517) to three Spanish development NGOs working in South Sudan, Egypt and Senegal.  

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, AECID has disbursed up to US$950,517 in humanitarian assistance funding to support partner countries in addressing the crisis.  

 Press release – AECID (in Spanish) 

Spain pledges US$138 million at EU-hosted COVID-19 pledging conference

On May 4, 2020, at the EU-hosted 'Coronavirus Global Response' pledging moment, Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced €125 million (US$138 million) to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccines Alliance. 

Spain will disburse €75 million (US$83 million) over the next 15 years to CEPI and €50 million (US$55 million) within the next 10 years to Gavi. The disbursements will be channeled through the International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm). 

Addressing the COVID-19 crisis in his speech, Prime Minister Sánchez highlighted the importance of ensuring affordable and equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. 

 

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

Twitter Post– Pedro Sánchez's Twitter Page (in Spanish)

Spain to provide funding to low- and middle-income countries for COVID-19 response in vulnerable populations

The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation 'AECID' provided €562,000 (US$620,000) as humanitarian assistance funding to support low- and middle-income countries in addressing the COVID-19 crisis. AECID will disburse these funds to Spanish NGOs working with vulnerable populations in Palestine, Mozambique, Senegal, Bolivia, Honduras, Haiti, Colombia, and Peru.

Press release – AECID (in Spanish)

Spain and Germany join efforts for multilateral COVID-19 response

The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, and the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas, held a teleconference meeting aimed at strengthening the collaboration between the two countries for addressing the COVID-19 crisis. Both Ministers reviewed potential economic and financial measures to counterbalance the effects of the pandemic and reiterated the importance of EU solidarity in effectively approaching the crisis. 

The two ministers also highlighted the importance of strengthening multilateralism and supporting low- and middle-income countries in Latin America, Africa, and other regions, to effectively address the health and economic repercussions of the pandemic. 

Press release – MAEUEC

Spanish development NGOs call for increased development funding

The Spanish umbrella organization of development NGOs, 'CONGDE', called upon the Spanish government to increase investments in development funding. CONGDE published an analysis in response to the preliminary data on 2019 'foreign aid disbursements' released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and underlined that at current levels of development financing, Spain may not be able to effectively contribute to addressing the COVID-19 crisis. 

According to the latest figures published by the OECD, Spain’s official development assistance (ODA) amounted to US$2.9 billion in 2019 (an 8% increase compared to 2018 figures). However, in relative terms, Spain's ODA represented only 0.19% of its gross national income in 2019. 

 Press release – CONGDE (in Spanish)

FC Barcelona to provide stadium title rights to raise funds for pandemic response

Football Club Barcelona (FCB), a prominent sports club with one of the largest annual turnovers, decided to hand over the title rights of its stadium 'Camp Nou' to raise funds for fostering COVID-19-associated research and development. Funds gathered from this process will be allocated to research institutions both within Spain and around the world. 

Press release – Barça Foundation