Arancha González Laya meets with the Coordinator of Non-Governmental Development Organizations (ONGD)

The minister stressed that NGDOs are fundamental actors for Spanish Cooperation. In this regard, she has invited the NGO Coordinator to play an important role in the creation of alliances and the incorporation of new actors to cooperation within the framework of the 2030 Agenda. The coordinator must be a strategic partner when it comes to fulfilling the commitment that the Government has acquired to relocate cooperation among its top priorities to make the 2030 Agenda a reality.

In 2019, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) allocated 68.6 million euros to ONGD, around 30% of its available resources. To this figure it should be added that most of the financing of Autonomous Communities and Local Entities (about 150 and 70 million respectively in 2016) finances NGO initiatives.

"NGDOs provide enormous added value: they strengthen accountability and good governance; they arrive where others do not arrive, strengthening civil society organizations in partner countries and collaborating with their administrations, contributing their experience and knowledge of the land , and in direct contact with the population and grassroots organizations, in many cases in difficult and remote areas, "said the minister.

Both those responsible for the Coordinator and the Minister have agreed to point out the deep commitment of Spanish citizens with international solidarity and the capacity of NGOs to channel this solidarity. According to the Coordinator, 93% of the Spanish population supports cooperation, and more than 2.4 million people and entities support NGOs with financial contributions or with their time.

The heads of the NGDO Coordinator and the Minister have also exchanged views on which administrative mechanisms would be more convenient to be able to incorporate NGDOs into EU fund management projects executed by AECID.

One of the areas where the Minister sees room to deepen and expand the work of Spanish Cooperation with NGDOs is the protection of human rights defenders. "We will intensify our work both in the promotion of civil and political rights and in relation to those defenders persecuted for their environmental, sexual or ethnic activism, among others. We will promote a program to strengthen the role of human rights defenders and its organizations, and we will continue working to put an end to the ultimate causes of the systematic violations of these rights wherever they occur, "said the minister.

The minister and the Coordinator have begun to formalize a new strategic framework for relations with NGDOs in the coming months.

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