Policy Updates

Each week, Donor Tracker's team of country-based experts bring you the most important policy and funding news across issue areas in the form of Policy Updates.

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AECID launches regional program to strengthen sustainable development in Middle East, North Africa

May 21, 2024 | Spain, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Climate | Share this update

On May 20, 2024, Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation José Manuel Albares presented a new development cooperation program, titled Masar Al’an (‘Masar Now’) at an official event held in Madrid.

The Spanish foreign ministry and AECID seek to strengthen sustainable development in the MENA region. It encompasses an initial budgetary envelope of EUR4 million (US$4 million) in 2024, aimed at strengthening socio-economic opportunities for youth and women, promoting gender equality, protecting biodiversity, and fostering climate change adaptation in sectors such as rural development and fisheries.

AECID will work in collaboration with UN agencies as well as EUI, including the Union for the Mediterranean and the European Institute for the Mediterranean.

Press release - Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID)

Spain to co-chair UN working group on feminist foreign policy

February 17, 2024 | Spain, Gender Equality | Share this update

On February 17, 2024, the Spanish MAEUEC announced that Spain and Mexico will chair the United Nations’ Working Group on FFP+ in 2024.

The:abbrFFP+ group was launched in 2021 under the leadership of Spain and Sweden. It aims to foster gender equality at the global level, as well as to advance specific measures for a feminist agenda within the multilateral system.

In 2021, the Spanish government launched its Strategy for Foreign Action 2021-2024 and the Guideline for a Feminist Foreign Policy. Gender equality is among the top priority sectors of Spain’s development cooperation.

Press release - Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (in Spanish)

Spain pledges US$107 million to gender equality and SRHR

January 22, 2024 | Spain, Gender Equality, Family Planning, Global Health | Share this update

On January 22, 2024, during a high-level event organized by GWL Voices in Madrid, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced that his government will provide multilateral organizations like UN Women and UNFPA with EUR100 million (US$107 million) through 2027 to foster gender equality and SRHR worldwide.

GWL Voices is an international think tank and network of women leaders committed to building a gender-equal international system. The announcement marked GWL Voices's first annual dialogue event, which was held under the title Women’s Turn to Reshape the Future: GWL Voices Dialogue.

GWL Voices took advantage of this event to launch a report, titled Women in Multilateralism 2024, to raise awareness about gender gaps in multilateral institutions and to call for a woman to be appointed as the next UN Secretary-General.

Press release - PM's office – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

New Spanish coalition agreement emphasizes development finance, gender equality

October 24, 2023 | Spain, Gender Equality | Share this update

On October 24, 2023, the PSOE and left-wing ‘Sumar’ alliance announced an agreement to form a new progressive coalition government, with key priorities including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, increasing Spanish development finance according to 0.7% ODA/GNI by 2030, and making Spain a global leader on feminist policies.

Interim Prime Minister and PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez is posed to continue as head of government through 2026. The Spanish parliament is likely to induct him as prime minister before November 27, 2023. The new coalition cabinet, which is a renewed version of the same cabinet that governed from 2020-2023, could be operative before 2024.

News article - elDiario.es (in Spanish)Government document - elDiario.es (in Spanish)

Spain announces feminist foreign policy action plan

October 17, 2023 | Spain, Gender Equality | Share this update

On October 17, 2023, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation presented the new Action Plan 2023-2024 to implement the Spanish guideline for a feminist foreign policy during 2024-2025.

Interim foreign minister José Manuel Albares noted that the new plan is aimed at strengthening Spain’s feminist foreign policy in two directions: integrating a gender-based approach in all the actions of the Spanish foreign policy; and fostering Spain’s priorities to advance gender equality worldwide.

The priorities include:

  • Women, peace, and security;
  • Human rights;
  • Elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls;
  • Women's participation into democratic institutions; and
  • Women's economic empowerment.

Albares underlined that Spain will continue to advocate for gender quality at the international level, champion multilateral efforts, and advocate for more countries to join the cause. He announced that the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation will create a High-Level Advisory Group on the Feminist Foreign Policy to convene government officials, development NGOs, feminist organizations, think tanks, and experts.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (in Spanish)

AECID and DNDi sign memorandum to fight neglected tropical diseases

October 16, 2023 | Spain, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, Global Health, Gender Equality | Share this update

On October 16, 2023, AECID and DNDi signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen collaborations on R&D combating neglected tropical diseases and other infectious diseases affecting vulnerable populations.

The four-year agreement did not detail Spanish-specific funding contributions. In the announcement, the agreement noted its goal to advance MNCH and gender-oriented R&D in Latin America and the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, and Asia.

Press release - AECID (in Spanish)

ONGAWA leads discussions on menstrual health

September 26, 2023 | Spain, Gender Equality | Share this update

On September 26, 2023, Spanish development NGO ONGAWA, in collaboration with SECI, organized a workshop discussing the challenges and opportunities of menstrual health as a lever for sustainable development, gender equality, and women’s empowerment in low- and middle-income countries.

The workshop was held at AECID headquarters in Madrid. The main seminar, titled Menstrual Health and Hygiene as Accelerators of Gender Equality, gathered dozens of development and gender experts from the Spanish cooperation sector, multilateral agencies, and CSOs. Participants underlined the importance of increasing public attention on menstrual health as a global health component, which has traditionally been neglected in development.

ONGAWA published a report summarizing the most relevant outcomes, obtained from a dialogue process with development NGOs, government officials, and gender experts on the importance of menstrual health.

Press release - Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) (in Spanish)Press release - ONGAWA (in Spanish)

Spain outlines development priorities

September 21, 2023 | Spain, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Climate | Share this update

On September 21st, 2023, acting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez addressed the 78th UN General Assembly and expressed Spain’s commitment towards multilateralism and the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

Sánchez focused his speech on accelerating the global response to climate change, particularly on climate adaptation and mitigation. Clmiate commitments made in the speech included:

  • EUR225 million (US$241 million) to the Green Climate Fund;
  • EUR20 million (US$21 million) to the Adaptation Fund; and
  • EUR17 million (US$18 million) to other multilateral instruments working on climate change.

These pledges will be reiterated at the UN Climate Change Conference at COP28, which is slated to take place in the UAE in November 2023.

Sánchez also underlined the need to strengthen multilateral institutions to advance the implementation SDGs and foster gender equality, food security, democracy, and human rights worldwide. He reiterated his commitment to increase development finance and emphasized that Spain was the first donor to announce that 20% of its SDRs would be allocated to low- and middle- income partner countries.

Press release - Spanish Government (in Spanish)Press release - Spanish Government (in Spanish)

Spanish CSOs urge foreign minister to strengthen EU development policies

August 31, 2023 | Spain, Gender Equality | Share this update

On August 31, 2023, the Spanish development CSO umbrella organization ‘La Coordinadora’ published an open letter calling on the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, EU, and Cooperation José María Albares and EU development ministers to strengthen development policies, tackle poverty, and reduce inequities worldwide.

The letter was published shortly before the informal meeting of development ministers that in Cadiz, Spain, to be held from September 4-5 in the framework of the Spanish Presidency of the EU.

‘La Coordinadora’ advocated the EU’s international development cooperation to assume greater leadership advancing the global agenda on gender equality. Specific actions included in the letter included leading the implementation of the EU Third Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in External Relations 2020-2025.

‘La Coordinadora’ also urged EU development ministers to reinforce and review the financial architecture of EU development cooperation and provide humanitarian assistance to the Sahel regional conflict.

Press release - 'La Coordinadora' (in Spanish)

Spain highlights sustainable development at EU-CLACS forum

July 13, 2023 | Spain, EUI, Education, Gender Equality, Climate, Global Health | Share this update

On July 13, 2023, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union, and Cooperation José Manuel Albares and the director of AECID Antón Leis participated at the EU - CLACS Society Forum organized in Brussels, Belgium.

The meeting took place in the framework of the 3rd EU- CLACS Summit, held from July 17-18, 2023. The summit prioritized innovative solutions for sustainable and inclusive development in the LAC region.

Albares highlighted that Spain, the EU, and the LAC region share a common approach in the areas of sustainable development, democratic values, human rights, peace, and the environment.

The EU - CLACS Civil Society Forum gathered government officials, development NGOs, youth collectives and other civil society groups. The civil society forum provided the EU - CLACS Summit with ten specific recommendations on gender equality, global health, the caring economy, democratic participation, digitalization, climate change, and education.

Press release - MAEC (in Spanish)






US$ amounts are cited directly from sources; in the absence of an official conversion, they are calculated using the previous week's average of the US Federal Reserve's daily exchange rates.

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