Minister González Laya presents Joint Response Strategy from Spanish Cooperation to COVID-19 Crisis at Council of Ministers

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, has today presented the Joint Response Strategy from Spanish Cooperation to the COVID-19 Crisis at the Council of Ministers, which has been prepared by the different parties that have made up the whole international development cooperation system since March.

Arancha González Laya praised the “unprecedented” effort to draw up a State strategy that reaffirms Spain’s commitment to the multilateral response headed up by the United Nations, and which has been adopted with the consensus of all the parties to Spanish cooperation, which includes central, regional and local public authorities, non-governmental development organisations (NGDOs), business organisations, trade unions, foundations, universities and civil society.

Initially, Spanish cooperation will mobilise a total of 1.72 billion euros to tackle the global impact of the pandemic in three priority areas of action: to save lives through support for the public health system; to protect rights and recover capacities; and to contribute to socio-economic development and the governability of the people most affected.

Spain has identified resources for an initial sum of 318 million euros for donations, plus another 1.36 billion euros in refundable financial cooperation. The government will initially provide 732 million euros, the regional governments a total of 39.9 million, local authorities 7.3 million and the Bank of Spain 941 million.

These amounts will be periodically updated to adapt the Strategy to the evolution of the coronavirus to allow for its flexible implementation against a backdrop of global uncertainty.

The document also provides for four response scenarios: emergency and humanitarian aid; the multilateral commitment; alliances with governments, public authorities and civil society of partner countries; and the response from the public, by raising awareness and a commitment from everyone.

In the field of humanitarian action, on which the survival up to a hundred million people depends, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Spanish acronym: AECID) will channel 67.9 million euros to cater for migrants, refugees and displaced persons, with a particular focus on the gender perspective and on protecting young children and their education. Emergency teams will also be sent, along with health material and advanced data technology for early warnings, which help facilitate isolation measures and manage the virus.

In its multilateral response, Spain forms part of the global alliance ACT-Accelerator, the greatest global geo-strategic commitment against COVID-19 for the development of medication and vaccines. The European Commission has collected 7.4 billion euros, of which Spain has committed 125 million for international CEPI institutions – for the development of vaccines, treatments and diagnoses – and the global alliance GAVI – for universal distribution.

Spain will push through a joint and coordinated response from the European Union in support for the most vulnerable countries and communities, with immediate and short-term measures to the COVID-19 crisis, strengthening the work on the ground with the motto “Team Europe”.

Spain will also collaborate with international financial institutions and with regional development banks to provide guarantees and liquidity, and will support the issue of Special Drawing Rights and the concessional loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the moratorium on debt and debt relief for countries on low and medium incomes.

The Strategy places great emphasis on bilateral alliances to alleviate the socio-economic impact through budgetary support instruments, joint funds, donations, State credits, loans and guarantees.

As regards the response from the public, promotion and training in education will be boosted for global development and citizenship, which promotes supportive awareness, the perspective of justice, co-responsibility and the public commitment to sustainable development.

The Response Strategy considers that the pandemic has highlighted the gravity of climate change, the necessary preservation of bio-diversity and the interdependence of all countries in the defence of common goods. That is why it considers that this crisis also represents a great opportunity to recalibrate development models and adopt a transforming vision in line with the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Minister González Laya argued that acting to the benefit of more vulnerable countries is an ethical and moral question, but also an international commitment to the 2030 Agenda that the Government of Spain has taken on. To achieve that, Spain will harness its experience in overseas cooperation for more than three decades.

The Joint Response Strategy from Spanish Cooperation to the COVID-19 Crisis will include a monitoring web platform and will be subject to an independent assessment in the second half of 2021.








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