In 2017, Spanish Official Development Assistance (ODA) reached 0.33% of the Gross National Income (GNI). This remains below the 0.7% target. After several years of cut backs and despite continued economic growth, there remains work to do in order to bring commitments up to the 0.7% target. The increase in ODA in 2017 is mainly explained by an extraordinary debt forgiveness operation carried out with Cuba, and increased ODA has not so far fed through to any increases in SRH/FP funding.
The context of funding to both refugees and humanitarian aid has been particularly relevant in 2017. Planned expenditure for refugees has increased significantly to €232 million, or 10.65% of total ODA. This increase contrasts with the pausing of Humanitarian Aid which, among other things, is aimed at responding to the needs of refugees and displaced persons in countries bordering on conflict zones. After a cut of 84% since 2008, the budget for humanitarian aid now amounts to €16.8 million.
With this backdrop, The New Master Plan in Development Cooperation and Policy 2017-2020, which includes Spain’s strategic development priorities, is expected to be presented in 2017.
Policies & funding
Funding for SRH/FP in 2016 totalled over €4.5 million, a decrease of nearly 15% compared to 2015. For a second year, UNFPA core funding has been ceased, but continued disbursements were made to certain multilateral projects, including to the UNFPA Supplies Programme, although at a reduced level compared to 2015. In 2017, the budget for ODA in Spain has increased by 2% in 2017, with commitments to UNFPA core funding expected but yet to be confirmed.
Spain prioritizes maternal and newborn health and, as part of its focus on gender and SRH/FP in its development Master Plan in Development Cooperation and Policy Plan for 2013-2016. The New Master Plan 2017-2020, which includes Spain’s strategic development priorities is currently being drafted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC) and expected to be presented in 2017. It is an tremendous opportunity to place SRH/FP as one of driving factors for the achievement of SDGs and generally for sustainable development.
The two-year Strategic Partnership agreement signed in 2015 aims to strengthen and deepen the existing relationship between the Spanish Cooperation and UNFPA. It is expected to be renewed in 2018.
In relation to the SheDecides initiative, Spain has expressed interested in allocating budget in the future, as well the Catalan Government, shown also by the efforts of the APPG in Catalonia and the involvement of the Catalan Agency for International Cooperation. Considering the current political situation in Spain, specific funding allocations to SheDecides remain on standby.
The General Assembly of the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) has elected Spain as a member of the Human Rights Council for the 2018-2020 period. The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC) has underlined Spain’s commitment to protecting human rights worldwide, with a special focus on protecting vulnerable populations, fighting racism, and strengthening democratic governance.
Updated January 2018
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