Water and Sanitation Cooperation Fund (FCAS)

Provisioned from the General-Government Budget through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, this fund aims to provide non-reimbursable aid and, as applicable, loans, for the purpose of financing projects in the areas of water and sanitation. The fund is based on a co-financing system with the national authorities of Latin American countries, which are a priority for Spanish cooperation.

Fund resources:

FCAS is funded from allocations assigned annually in the General-Government Budget and from the recovery, as applicable, of the loans granted.

Administration and management:

The Fund works through the following bodies:

  • The highest decision-making body is an Executive Committee attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation through the Secretariat of State for International Cooperation. This Executive Committee will examine and appraise all proposals for financing from the Fund as presented by the Water and Sanitation Cooperation Fund Office (OFCAS). It will then determine their referral for authorisation to the Council of Ministers through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
  • The financial agent is Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) which, in the name and on behalf of the Spanish Government and on the State's account, arranges the appropriate lending contracts. In addition, the Institute provides services relating to technical execution, accounting, cash, control, collection and recovery and, in general, all those of a financial nature relative to the Fund's activity.
  • The management body is OFCAS, part of the Spanish Agency of International Development Cooperation, under the strategic management of its Chairman.

Main functions of OFCAS:

  • Prepare, propose and present the criteria governing the Fund's management system and the mechanisms for the awarding of aid; and also, as applicable, the loans that will finance the projects selected.
  • Examine and clear the proposals for financing from the Fund, prior to their approval by the Council of Ministers.
  • Follow-up and appraisal of the Fund's operation.
  • Perform the Fund's economic management, notwithstanding the duties which are incumbent on ICO as the Fund's Financial Agent.

Geographical performance criteria:

Eligible countries will be as established in the geographical priorities for Latin America indicated in the 2009-2012 Spanish Cooperation Master Plan.

When selecting the geographical areas that will benefit from the Fund, two criteria will be taken into account: the level of the water and sanitation coverage rate and the levels of indebtedness of each country.

All financing facilities and projects to be financed from the Water and Sanitation Cooperation Fund must receive the prior authorisation of the Council of Ministers, on the proposal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Europena Union and Cooperation.

Moreover, both the annual compensation for Instituto de Crédito Oficial and proposals for the coverage of expenses arising from the projects' evaluation, follow-up, inspection and technical assistance must also be authorised by the Council of Ministers.

Co-finance system:

The projects will be financed by means of co-finance with the national authorities of Spanish Cooperation member countries, in accordance with criteria regarding the level of development and needs for access to drinking water and sanitation.

The co-financing requirements for each country will be established yearly in the Annual International Cooperation Plan (PACI), in accordance with criteria regarding the level of development and the needs for access to drinking water and sanitation.

Eligible institutions:

In member countries, the following may benefit from the Fund:

  • Public Administrations -national, regional or local- of the recipient countries, providing that they have sufficient institutional capacity.
  • Organisations arising in civil society, cooperatives and other types of non-profit-making associations engaged in the provision of water and sanitation services or tasks connected with the provision of these public services in the region.

Eligible activities:

Projects financed from the Water and Sanitation Cooperation Fund must fall within one of the following scopes of performance:

  • Sustainable access to drinking water.
  • Sustainable access to basic sanitation services, including the management of solid waste.
  • Reinforcement of institutional policies and frameworks concerning water management, aimed at improving coordination and participation in the management of water.
  • Reinforcement of the integral management of water.
  • Establishment of sustainable systems for the provision of the public services of water and sanitation.

Presentation and approval of proposals:

Eligible institutions as provided for in Art.12 above may present their proposals at Spanish embassies or associated multilateral bodies in the format to be established by the Water and Sanitation Cooperation Fund Office. In turn, the embassies and bodies will forward the proposals to said Office for consideration.

On receipt of the proposals, this Office will appraise the proposals before referring them to the Executive Committee of the Water and Sanitation Cooperation Fund for analysis and approval.

Once it has received the final financing proposals, the Fund's Executive Committee will decide upon their final approval and, as and when applicable, their referral, via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, to the Council of Ministers for approval.

Proposal authorisation will also authorise ICO to negotiate and execute the pertinent financing agreements.

Basic rules and regulations:

The Sixty-first Additional Provision of Act 51/2007, December 26, concerning the General-Government Budget for 2008.

Royal Decree 822/2008, May 16, whereby the Water and Sanitation Cooperation Fund Office is established.

Royal Decree 1460/2009, September 28, concerning the Fund's Organisation and Operation.