• Spain


    In June 2018, Congress appointed the general secretary of the Socialist Party Pedro Sanchez as the new Prime Minister of Spain, following a no-confidence motion against the former head of Government, Mariano Rajoy of the Popular Party (PP). Female representatives are prominent in the new government, heading 11 of the 17 ministries.

    In relation to international cooperation, Pedro Sánchez highlighted foreign policy as one of the four pillars of his agenda for change. He pledged to strengthen and recover the policy of development cooperation as a defining element of foreign policy, reinforcing the presence in international organizations and giving priority to humanitarian affairs, the 2030 Agenda and gender.

    A High Commission for the 2030 Agenda has been launched, directly reporting to government. An implementation plan that highlights the need to recover the development cooperation policy was presented at the United Nations High Level Political Forum on the SDGs in July 2018.

    The socialist party has boosted the gender and development approach, and the Strategy for Health in Development Cooperation was launched, in which SRHR has a central role in the empowerment of women.

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    Policies & funding

    Spanish ODA

    In order for its promises to become a reality and be coherent with its electoral programme and with the initiatives approved in Congress, the development cooperation budget for 2019 that Government presented to the parliament, includes an increase in ODA of about 109 million.  This amount represents a 5% increase compared to last year. 10% of it will be allocated to Humanitarian Aid. The goal is still to reach 0.4% in 2020.

    Spanish ODA planned for 2018 amounted to € 2.602 million, 0.22% of Gross National Income (GNI). Although it increased by 6% from 2017, at this rate it would take 15 years to reach the 0.4% agreed in the Parliament.

    SRH/FP funding and policies

    In 2017, Spanish funding to SRH/FP decreased by 17%, from €3.7 million in 2016 to €3.1 million in 2017. Core funding to UNFPA was €450,000 in 2017, the first core funding contribution since 2014.

    The new development cooperation strategy 2018-2021, which includes Spain’s strategic development priorities, was finalized and launched in March 2018 by the previous government. It underlines Spain’s firm commitment to advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and increase ODA to 0.7% of GNI. It outlines four cross-cutting development principles (human rights, gender equality, cultural diversity, and environment), and seven strategic goals/orientations in line with the SDGs, including good health and well-being and gender equality. Recommendations on gender and SRHR, sent by the national platform of NGOs (of which FPFE is member), were included in the priorities chapter.

    The two-year strategic partnership agreement with UNFPA signed in 2015 aims to strengthen and deepen the existing relationship between the Spanish government and UNFPA. It was expected to be renewed in 2018, but due to the change in government, it was postponed to beginning of 2019.

    UNFPA core funding was reconfirmed and slightly increased in 2018, after restarting in 2017. Disbursements to humanitarian programs in Iraq, Palestine and Syria were made during 2018, and new funding to multilateral projects, including to the UNFPA Supplies, We Decide and essential services on GBV programmes.

    At a regional level, the Basque Country Government is continuing to support the Joint Programme on Essential Services for GBV, and will start to contribute to humanitarian aid.

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    Internationally vocal

    In July 2018, the new socialist government set up the High Commission for the 2030 Agenda. Based at the Prime Minister’s office, this new development cooperation body coordinates all ministries’ actions on the 2030 Agenda and oversees their implementation. It is directed by the Special Ambassador for the 2030 Agenda, Cristina Gallach, a former United Nations undersecretary.

    Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez at the UNGA in 2018 expressed the firm commitment of the Spanish Government to the fight against gender violence and the defence of human rights, especially the rights of the most vulnerable groups, such as women and young people with disabilities.

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    Key Documents

    Updated January 2019

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