State Secretary for International Cooperation signs new bilateral agreement at start of her virtual trip to Paraguay
The State Secretary for International Cooperation, Ángeles Moreno Bau, began a virtual three-day trip to Paraguay on Tuesday. The visit, that takes place by video-conference, began today with the signing of the new Country Association Framework (Spanish acronym: MAP) for the period 2020-2023 together with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Paraguay, Federico González. The MAP – a bilateral agreement on development cooperation that defines strategic priorities – has a budget estimate of 142 million euros.

Spanish Cooperation, which drew up the new agreement following intense dialogue and negotiations with Paraguayan institutions – more than 70 Spanish and Paraguayan public and private entities actively took part in the different consultation forums – will focus its efforts on eight Sustainable Development Goals and 15 Targets under the 2030 Agenda. Health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, drinking water, sanitation and the fight against hunger are some of the priority sectors under the MAP for 2020-2023.

To tackle the COVID-19 crisis, Spanish Cooperation has redirected the course of programmes under way in Paraguay to adapt to the needs stemming from the pandemic, an endeavour that has led to the mobilisation of some 15 million euros. Among other actions, 9.25 million euros have been employed from the Cooperation Fund for Water and Sanitation (Spanish acronym: FCAS) to take water to the most depressed rural and indigenous communities of the Paraguayan Chaco, and 2.52 million euros have been allocated to supporting hospitals and health centres. Financing has also been provided to prevent male violence during the lockdown and financial support has been provided to young entrepreneurs.

“The next few years will be key to the socio-economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic. We will need all the instruments available to us, both through non-repayable and repayable support, and will include efforts from the different parties to Spanish Cooperation, including the private sector”, explained Ángeles Moreno Bau.

Spanish Cooperation has contributed, in its almost 30 years of presence in Paraguay, more than 200 million euros – a figure that makes Spain one of the main donors to the Latin American country. Between 2014 and 2018, total Official Development Assistance (Spanish acronym: AOD) allocated by the different parties to Spanish Cooperation, amounted to more than 27 million euros.

Third virtual trip

During this three-day trip – the third made under a virtual format since the outbreak of the pandemic – the State Secretary for International Cooperation is scheduled to meet up, among others, with the Ministers for Health and Social Well-being, Julio Mazzoleni, for Tourism, Sofía Montiel, and for Culture, Rubén Capdevila, as well as with leading cooperation representatives in Paraguay.

Ángeles Moreno Bau will also see first-hand different projects on water and sanitation, health and well-being, and tourism in the Latin American country and will hold a meeting with Spanish business leaders with the aim of forging potential public-private alliances to enhance development over the coming years. Her trip will end with a visit to the Juan de Salazar Spanish Cultural Centre in Asuncion, attached to the network of cultural centres of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Spanish acronym: AECID).  



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