The State Secretary for International Cooperation (Spanish acronym: SECI), Pilar Cancela Rodríguez, took part in the celebration of the 120th anniversary of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Madrid, stressing that “the commitment to global and regional health institutions is an area we consider to be a priority”.
Within the framework of the event, Spain’s presence in the organisation as an observer since 1980 and as one of its greatest collaborators in achieving progress in public health in the Americas was applauded, which for Pilar Cancela reflects that “it is at delicate times like these in which the excellent collaboration by the Government of Spain with the PAHO can be clearly seen which, since the beginning, has been intense and continuous and we obviously hope that it will continue to be so”.
The PAHO is the international organisation specialised in public health in the Americas, made up of 51 countries, which works to promote and support the right to health. To achieve this, the PAHO fosters cooperation between countries and works in collaboration with health ministries and other government agencies, civil society organisations, international agencies, universities, social security bodies, community groups and other partners.
Within the framework of the fight against COVID-19, Spain has positioned itself as one of the main vaccine donors in the region of Latin America, thanks to the COVAX programme and the work of the PAHO as the main logistics facilitator of this mechanism in the region. In this context, the countries in Ibero-America and the Caribbean have been the main recipients of vaccines donated by Spain. More than 22 million doses have been allocated to Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras, among others.
Pilar Cancela stressed that “our country advocates active, selective and strategic multilateralism” and evidence of Spain’s commitment is the active contribution to the financing of PAHO programmes through different instruments. Specifically, over the period 2019-2021, this collaboration amounted to a total of 4.4 million euros.
Furthermore, during the event, the SECI took the opportunity to recall a series of emblematic initiatives between the PAHO and our country, such as the signing of the Framework Cooperation Agreement between the PAHO and Spain in 2001; the constitution of the Spain-PAHO Fund in 2007 and Spain’s support for the Transplant Action Plan (2019-2030).
The State secretary also took the opportunity to announce a new Spanish contribution for 2022 for a total sum of 1.95 million euros. Accordingly, Spain will continue to support the essential work of the PAHO, establishing joint priority lines of action and placing, as it has to date, public health at the centre of the actions of Spanish Cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Lastly, Pilar Cancela recalled that “technical collaboration with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and with the PAHO, continues to be a priority for Spanish Cooperation”.
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