is a natural resource of the utmost importance and a key factor for
development. Guaranteeing that all people have access to water and sanitation
and ensuring the sustainability of this resource are essential in the fight
Spanish Cooperation is firmly committed to the water and sanitation sector, and pays particular attention to ensuring access to safely managed drinking water, sanitation and hygiene services following a human rights-based approach. Spanish Cooperation's Fifth Master Plan (2018-2021) considers water to be a fundamental element for the eradication of poverty and for sustainable development, classifying access to water and sanitation as human rights and as crucial to the achievement of several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as water, moreover, is essential for life, enabling both adequate nutrition and health. In this framework, one of the Fifth Master Plan's core objectives is to "facilitate the effective access of water-related interventions, prioritizing institutional strengthening and community development".
Spanish Cooperation's most important commitment in this area is the Water and Sanitation Cooperation Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean (Spanish acronym, FCAS). This Fund constitutes an unprecedented initiative, as no previous cooperation action has ever concentrated so many resources on water and sanitation in Latin America. With donations in excess of 790 million euros, the Fund is now present in 19 countries through a portfolio of 66 cooperation programmes.
To ensure the sustainability of this resource, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) seeks to ensure that its projects are included within a comprehensive framework for water resource management.
Moreover, AECID considers access to water and sanitation to be a basic human right, as determined by the UN General Assembly in July 2010. The rights-based approach is ensured through application of the provisions set forth in General Comment no. 15 of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the reports and recommendations of the Special Rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Council, establishing criteria and indicators on availability, accessibility, affordability, quality, non-discrimination, participation and access to public information.