Washington, DC, 23 April 2013 (PAHO/WHO).Ambassador Jorge Hevia, Spain's permanent observer at the Organization of American States (OAS), this week reaffirmed his country's commitment to health in Latin America and to supporting the work of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO).

"You can count on Spain's support. Our commitment has been strong and we have made efforts to continue cooperating," said Hevia during a 22 April meeting with PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne.

Spain has provided more than $72 million for health projects in the Americas since 2007 through the Spanish Fund for MDG Achievement. In the 1980s and 1990s, Spain collaborated with PAHO/WHO and Central American countries through the "Health: a Bridge for Peace" initiative. As part of that initiative, Spain supported the construction of clinics and hospitals, training for health workers, distribution of medicines and food, and mass vaccination in areas affected by armed conflict.

Etienne noted that Spain, which became a PAHO Observer State in 1980, "has been a strong supporter of PAHO" and said the organization is developing a new strategic plan that will define its new priorities for technical cooperation and budgeting.

Etienne also proposed the identification of key areas of Spanish expertise in health to support PAHO/WHO's priority programs in its member countries.

For more information on Spain's cooperation with PAHO/WHO visit: https://www.paho.org/esp/