Aid to education
In Spain, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC) is responsible for development cooperation policy and for coordination with other contributing ministries.
Within MAEC, the State Secretary for International Cooperation (SECI), Pilar Cancela, steers development policy, outlines strategic priorities, and provides funding to multilateral institutions. The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) is in charge of implementing development operations and it provides bilateral official development assistance (ODA) resources to partner countries and CSOs. While AECID is the managing body of Spain’s development cooperation, SECI takes a more strategic role in policy, planning and evaluation.
Education is earmarked within Spain’s top development priorities. The ‘Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2018-2021’ outlines seven priorities, all linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
- zero hunger
- good health and well-being
- quality education
- gender equality
- clean water and sanitation
- decent work and economic growth
- peace, justice and strong institutions.
Spain aims to focus its external action in the field of education towards a) strengthening educational Systems; b) fostering quality, inclusive education; and c) strengthening schooling of the most vulnerable children. While the new ‘Master Plan 2022-2025’, which will be launched in fall 2022, is expected to reiterate Spain’s engagement towards global education, under the new ‘Foreign Action Strategy 2021-2024’, fostering global education is highlighted as a key element of Spain’s development cooperation with partner countries.
The current development leadership, as underlined in Spain’s ‘Joint Strategy to Respond to Covid-19’, places education as a core intervention to effectively address the pandemic.
On September 13th, 2021, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, announced that Spain will provide €20 million (US$24 million) in humanitarian assistance to support Afghan refugee populations at the UN Afghanistan donor conference held in Geneva, Switzerland. Minister Albares emphasized that one of Spain’s priorities is to support the most vulnerable refugees, particularly women and girls and to guarantee access to quality education for up to 2-3 million Afghan children.
In 2019, Spain spent US$175 million on ODA to education in 2019, making it the 16th-largest donor to education in absolute terms. This represents 6% of Spain’s total ODA, below the DAC average of 10% making Spain the 22nd-largest donor in relative terms.
Watch PM Sánchez's commitment at Global Education Summit 2021.