Last updated: May 2017
Strategic priorities
  • France focuses its ODA loans increasingly on fighting climate change. Health is a traditional and ongoing focus of French development cooperation, particularly with regard to its multilateral engagement. Within overall foreign policy, internal security and terrorism-related threats are strategic priorities.
  • The election of Emmanuel Macron as France’s new president in May 2017 may impact the strategic priorities of France’s development policy  in the medium-term. However, based on Macron’s declarations during the election campaign, major shifts are not expected.
  • Geographically, France takes a differentiated approach to allocating its ODA, providing grants mainly to 16 fragile and least-developed countries in sub-Saharan Africa. ODA loans focus on emerging economies. 
  • In December 2016, France’s main public investment institutions, the Deposit and Consignment Fund (CDC), and the French Development Agency (AFD) signed a ‘Strategic Alliance Charter’. This Charter aims to scale up the capacities of the AFD to finance and support public policies in a range of sectors, including support for ecological transitions. The Charter comes under the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), bringing together the two institutions’ national and international policies and activities related to the SDGs under a single umbrella.
Key opportunities
  • The additional €4 billion in ODA loans per year presents a major opportunity to leverage more funding for development, as much of this has not yet been earmarked for specific projects. Particular opportunities exist for climate-related programs, as half of the loans increase will be allocated to this area.
  • Since 2014, France has continuously increased the proceeds generated from its financial transaction tax (FTT) allocated to development and climate funding, from €100 million in 2014 to almost €800 million in 2017. In 2018, the scope of the FTT is set to extend to ‘intra-day’ transactions, which would increase the amount generated by the FTT and, therefore, the amount going to development.

Key Questions

the big six

France supports sustainable management of forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo, including 4 million hectares in southern DRC. France  is focusing its ODA increasingly on tackling climate change.

France

Outlook

How will France's ODA develop? — What will France’s ODA focus on? —What are key opportunities for shaping France’s development policy? read more

How will French ODA develop?

  • France will significantly scale up its development assistance over the coming years. By 2020, France plans to provide an additional €4 billion per year as loans through the French Development Agency (AFD) and an extra €400 million per year as grants. Half of the €4-billion increase will be allocated to programs related to climate change, strengthening France’s engagement in environmental issues.
  • Extra-budgetary allocations to ODA are set to increase even further: The budget for 2017 foresees an extension of the scope of the financial transaction tax (FTT) to ‘intraday’ transactions, starting from 2018. The FTT continues to increase its funding to French ODA: in 2014, €100 million of the FTT was allocated to ODA rising to an estimated €798 million in 2017.

What will France’s ODA focus on?

  • Security concerns are strongly shaping political debates in France around its international activities. The fight against terrorism is a top priority of French foreign and security policy. France also increasingly uses development programs to contribute to political and economic stability, particularly in the Sahel region. From 2017 onwards, France will allocate €100 million per year to a facility for alleviating vulnerability and responding to crises, managed by the AFD. The facility will target countries in crisis, post-crisis, or otherwise vulnerable situations.
  • Tackling climate change and its impact will also be a major focus of France’s development policy in the coming years. The French government will strongly increase funding for development programs related to climate-change issues, including for related areas such as agriculture and sanitation. This includes €2 billion of the €4-billion increase in ODA loans, to be allocated to programs related to climate change. In addition, €2 billion will benefit renewable energy projects in Africa between 2016 and 2020.
  • Health will remain an important focus of France’s multilateral engagement: In September 2016, France announced at the Fifth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) in Montreal that it will maintain its high level of contributions to the Global Fund, amounting to €1.1 billion between 2017 and 2019.

What are key opportunities for shaping France’s development policy?

  • France’s new president Emmanuel Macron, committed on several occasions during the election campaign to reaching the 0.7% target by 2030, with increases in ODA based on economic growth. Over all, the change in leadership provides an opportunity to push development issues high on the agenda as the new government takes office, and to emphasize that development programs help to promote peace by addressing the fundamentals of stability.