Over two thousand seven hundred Spanish professionals currently work in the area of international cooperation for development overseas.
To be precise, 2,794 people were involved in the study conducted by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC) in collaboration with the Overseas Cooperation Units (UCE) and the Spanish Embassies located in countries that are eligible to receive Official Development Aid (ODA).
Of Spanish professionals working in international cooperation 71% are over 35 years of age. By gender, the number of women (55%) working in the sector is greater than the number of men.
By region, the study reveals that the bulk of Spanish professionals working in cooperation are concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa (48%). Meanwhile, 35% of the total work in Central and South America, especially in the Central American and Caribbean region (20%). Spain began to work with these countries during the initial stages of international cooperation.
According to this data log, compiled by the AECID, 34% of Spanish professionals work in development overseas with religious organisations; 32% work in non-governmental organisations (NGO) and 14% work with international agencies. This study also includes the 292 Spanish professionals currently working in Overseas Cooperation Units (UCE) of the Spanish Cooperation Agency, AECID.
According to the data collected, Madrid, Catalonia, Castile and León, Andalusia and the Basque Country (in this order) are the main autonomous regions of origin for Spanish professionals working overseas.
These professionals work in different areas, including economic development, healthcare, education, gender issues, food safety, the environment, culture for development, humanitarian aid, etc.
The study does not include data regarding volunteer personnel, which is regulated by internal legislation, or any other individuals who exercise their solidarity either individually or through channels other than official cooperation for development.
International Aid Worker Day, acknowledging cooperation values
The purpose of celebrating International Aid Worker Day every 8th September is to promote public recognition of the work of cooperation professionals and the dissemination of the values they represent in the fight to eradicate poverty. International Aid Worker Day was established on 8th September 2006 by a Royal Decree, the same day on which the Millennium Declaration was signed in 2000, as the fundamental contribution of international aid workers in fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals.
According to the International Aid Worker Statute, approved by Royal Decree in April of 2006: “international aid workers are natural persons who participate in the execution of a specific instrument of international cooperation for development in the field or humanitarian aid in any of its phases, through a legal relationship with a person or entity that promotes cooperation for development or humanitarian aid, based on the State’s activity overseas in accordance with Article 3 of Law 23/1998, dated 7th July (…)”.
The AECID’s activities commemorating International Aid Worker Day 2013 will primarily be held in November 2013. The Agency, as a model institution in the execution of official Spanish cooperation policies, celebrates its 25th anniversary and its work in the fight against poverty.