Nutrition issues are integrated within health and agriculture policies

In 2016, the French Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID) set the fight against hunger and malnutrition as one of the sectors it seeks to strengthen in coming years.

Within its bilateral cooperation, the French Development Agency (AFD) prioritizes maternal and child undernutrition, focusing further on the prevention and treatment of malnutrition in women of child-bearing age and in children under two, and on improving the efficiency of international mobilization against malnutrition. In line with France’s general development policy, activities focusing on sub-Saharan African nutrition have also been integrated into the measures taken by France in its follow-up of the commitments to the Muskoka Initiative, which ended in 2015; Muskoka was an initiative launched at the 2010 G8 summit in Canada, to increase member countries’ funding to maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH). Sub-Saharan African nutrition is one of three priorities of France’s intervention in women’s health under this framework, along with sexual and reproductive health and rights, and health system strengthening. This reflects the growing importance given to nutrition as a determining health factor in France, particularly for MNCH.

Interventions that address immediate causes of undernutrition and have the improvement of nutrition (i.e., support for exclusive breastfeeding, supplementary feeding, etc.) as their primary objective.

Interventions that address underlying causes of malnutrition and that take into account cross-sector actions and impacts (i.e., improving access to diverse foods).

Quantifying France’s engagement around nutrition is difficult because of this cross-sectoral perspective. According to OECD data, France spent only US$5 million on basic nutrition in 2015. However, overall funding to nutrition is higher, as France chooses to direct its funding towards nutrition-sensitive interventions rather than towards nutrition-specific programs. According to the 2016 Global Nutrition Report, France’s nutrition-sensitive intervention amounted to US$34 million in 2013, the latest year for which data is available. France is also a member of the Scaling-Up Nutrition movement (SUN), an initiative encouraging countries to mobilize and scale up resources for nutrition globally.

GISA supports the MAE in defining strategic priorities for nutrition

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (MAE) oversees France’s policies on nutrition. The most relevant department is the Sub-directorate for Human Development (HUMA) within the Directorate-General for Globalization, Culture, Education and International Development (DGM). Within French development policy, nutrition is to a large extent incorporated into the concept of food security. The Interministerial Group on Food Security (GISA), jointly led by the Ministries of Agriculture and of Foreign Affairs, gathers the ministries of Finance, Environment, Education and research, the French Development Agency (AFD), research institutes, NGOs, French farmers, and foundations.