• Spain


    Since a progressive governmental coalition took office in 2019, Spain has been increasingly committed to greater international leadership. The global challenges of COVID-19 have reinforced the need to promote an active role for the country in solving global challenges and promoting global public goods at the multilateral level.

    Spain´s masterplan of development cooperation 2018-2021 stresses the importance of mainstreaming issues such as human rights, gender equality, cultural diversity and environment, in line with the 2030 Agenda. It also establishes seven strategic goals, including health and sexual and reproductive health (SRH). The current government is committed to gender equality and women’s empowerment, with the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Overseas Development having consistently expressed commitment to sexual and reproductive health and family planning (SRH/FP), a feminist approach in international cooperation and the Sustainable Development Goals’ targets 3.7 and 5.6.

    In 2021, the government launched a new ‘Foreign Action Strategy 2021-2024’ based on four guiding principles: more Europe, better multilateralism, strategic bilateralism, and solidarity commitment. The new plan emphasizes the current administration's commitment to increase Spanish ODA to 0.5% of the country's GNI by 2023, to reform the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), and to provide the Spanish development cooperation system with a new and reinforced vision.

    Also in 2021, the government launched the new Spain’s ‘Feminist foreign policy, which includes the active promotion of gender equality as a cross-cutting principle and a fundamental axis for Spanish foreign policy. This approach will be developed based on five principles: a transformational approach; committed leadership; ownership; inclusive participation and alliance-building; and intersectionality and diversity. This policy confirms the country’s focus on promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), making it an excellent framework to advocate for increased national commitments.

    In a context of public policies strengthening, the 2022 General State Budget becomes a turning point as it increases international cooperation by 12% compared to the previous year. This is expected to bring total ODA close to €3.5 billion and at a share level of 0.28% of GNI. €293 million will be earmarked for the donation of COVID-19 vaccines, in line with the Universal Access Plan commitment to provide 30 million doses, and which was reinforced by the Spanish Prime Minister at the 2021 UNGA. Funding dedicated to health and SRH/FP is expected to be released in the near future.

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    Policies & funding

    As a response to COVID-19, Spain has prioritized global health in its development policy. Between May and June 2020, Spain made pledges to multilateral initiatives part of the Access to COVID-19 tools accelerator, including €75 million (US$86 million) to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and €50 million (US$56 million) to Gavi's COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).

    In May 2021, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) announced the launch of the ‘Musawat Network’ aimed at fostering gender equality in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The Musawat Network will coordinate AECID’s programmes related to gender equality in Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, and Palestine.

    In 2020, Spanish support to SRH/FP amounted to €6.5 million. The largest contribution came from core multilateral funding, even though core funding to UNFPA was kept at the same level. Specific support to the UNFPA Supplies Partnership doubled, amounting to €400.000, which was the same amount allocated to the eradication of FGM.  Spanish support to other essential initiatives, such as gender-responsive programming, HIV/AIDS prevention and control and integrated responses to gender-based violence (GBV), brought the country’s contributions to SRHR up to €13 million.

    Some of this support comes from the regions. Part of the Spanish SRH/FP spending in 2020 included the Basque Country Government’s contributions to the Joint Programme on Essential Services for GBV and UNFPA’s programmes ‘We decide’ and ‘Addressing GBV and SRH needs of women and youth as part of mixed migration humanitarian response’ in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as outcomes of the Nairobi Summit. Following parliamentary advocacy work in the Basque Country led by Sedra-FPFE, the regional government also approved a new agreement focused on supplies in humanitarian settings for 2022, pending budgetary approval by the end of 2021. Plus, the government of Catalonia has also supported UNFPA programme on prevention and response to GBV in the humanitarian context in Libya and Palestine in 2021.

    In 2021, Spain confirmed the approval of a € 2.5 million additional contribution to UNFPA to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis in health systems and guarantee the response to SRH needs such as strengthening health systems for access to family planning, strengthen capacity to prevent and respond to GBV, pursue the elimination of harmful practices, and advocate in the area of gender equality, with the aim of changing mindsets and transforming social and gender norms.

    Spain has renewed its commitment to the SDGs, through the adoption of the Sustainable Development Strategy 2030 (EDS 2030), a framework for action within and outside its borders. Following the impact caused by COVID-19, the Strategy represents a great political and social agreement to ensure a recovery that addresses a social and ecological transition, while placing the sustainability and rights of people at the center of action.

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    Internationally vocal

    At the kick-off event of the Generation Equality Forum (GEF) held in Mexico in March 2021, high-level representatives of the Spanish government emphasized the importance of accelerating progress for gender equality by 2030. Spain was strongly involved in this process and co-led the GEF Action Coalition for Economic Justice and Rights.

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    Key Documents

    Updated January 2022

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