International NGO consortium launches new tool to track European DAH

Global Health Advocates France and Medical Mission Institute Würzburg, in collaboration with several NGOs, including Action for Global Health UK network, Results UK, and Save the Children UK, have launched a new tracking tool named 'ODA4Health'. Aimed at unpacking the flows of Development Assistance for Health (DAH) of the top four EU donors (the UK, France, Germany and the EU Institutions), the platform seeks to provide user-friendly information on the quantity and quality of foreign assistance for health.

So far, ODA4HEALTH has noted that 1) only one donor (the UK) is reaching the 0.1%/GNI target given by WHO DAH recommendations; 2) there is an increasing tendency to use loans or equity investments to support the health sector; and 3) it is very difficult to assess to what extent each donor is contributing to Universal Health Coverage (UHC), mainly due to a lack of detailed information.

The website will be updated regularly.

Website – ODA4Health

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French President Macron's 'One Planet' summit achieves concrete commitments to fight climate change

The One Planet Summit, hosted in Paris on December 12, 2017 by French President Emmanuel Macron, the UN, and the World Bank, gathered over 54 heads of state, private-sector companies, and international organizations to discuss the use of financing in the fight against climate change. A number of concrete new commitments were made. 

The World Bank announced that it will stop financing oil and gas exploration and exploitation after 2019; a coalition of sovereign wealth funds (from Norway, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and New Zealand) pledged to work together to 'green' their portfolios; and philanthropists Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson pledged to increase the share of their actions in favor of the climate, with Bill Gates allocating US$300 million to fund programs on climate change and its impact on agriculture.

News article – Le Monde (in French)


French ministers support a European financial transaction tax

Four French ministers have expressed their willingness to support the introduction of a Europe-wide financial transaction tax (FTT) in order to help developing countries mitigate the impacts of climate change. France already makes use of a national FTT, which brings in about €1.5 billion in revenue a year. Half of this is allocated to the fight against global poverty and climate change. 

According to Minister of Ecological and Solidarity Transition Nicolas Hulot, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire, and Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation Frédérique Vidal, resources from a European FTT would be directed towards helping the world’s poorest to adapt to climate change. This would add up to €5 billion in assistance for developing countries per year by 2020, with at least €1 billion being used to fund mitigation efforts.

Op-ed – Le JDD (in French)


Economists, politicians, and artists call for European nations to sign climate-finance pact

A group of economists, politicians, artists, philosophers, and trade unionists have signed a call asking European officials to allocate €1000 billion to finance the next 30 years of energy transition. They suggest several mechanisms for raising the funds, including the use of a tax on financial transactions and on CO2 emissions. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the University of Colombia's Earth Institute,  and former French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault are among the signatories.

News article – Le Monde (in French)

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French MP calls for health to be at heart of France’s development policies

Hugues Renson, an MP in President Emmanuel Macron’s party 'La République en Marche', penned an op-ed which singled out the historical importance of France in the fight against AIDS. He called for health to be at the heart of France’s development policies. He praised President Macron for his commitment to reaching 0.55% ODA as a percentage of GNI, which he views as an opportunity to increase support for the global health sector, notably through multilaterals like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and UNITAID. However, he noted that this will only be achieved through an increase in innovative financing mechanisms.

Op-ed – Libération (in French)

France Global health

President Macron declares support for plan to combat human trafficking networks

During the EU-Africa Summit in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire from November 29-30, 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron called for “individual, financial, and physical sanctions” against human trafficking networks, and said the European and the African Union would “launch concrete military and policing action on the ground to dismantle those networks”. Macron’s support is directed at a plan that aims to have up to 15,000 people flown out of Libya in a “voluntary repatriation scheme”.

However, critics have noted that while policing action on the ground may address human trafficking in the region, the repatriation of victims of trafficking raises concerns over human rights violations.

News article – The Guardian


ONE Campaign France criticizes lack of concrete commitments resulting from Africa-EU summit

ONE Campaign France has called the results of the Africa-EU Summit, held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire from November 29-30, 2017, “a disappointment and lacking in ambition” due to the fact that it did not present a concrete plan for the future of African youth. ONE stressed the continuing need for concrete financial announcements, notably towards education, which President Emmanuel Macron has highlighted as a priority of his government's development policy. ONE's director, Friederike Röder, argued that the partnership between Africa and Europe should not be limited to dealing with imminent crises, but rather working together to build a long-term global action plan for poverty alleviation. 

Press release – ONE France (in French)


French President Macron speaks about new partnership with Africa in Ouagadougou

Speaking at the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, French President Emmanuel Macron gave a comprehensive speech on French relations with Africa, saying there is no longer a 'French policy on Africa', but a joint French-African partnership. Macron mentioned France’s commitment to reaching 0.55% ODA/GNI, yet noted that development assistance must become more efficient and focused in order to meet the needs of those who need it most. He also highlighted France's commitment to health - specifically the fight against AIDS, access to medicines, and improving health system infrastructure - gender equality, and education.

Speech – France 24 (in French)


ONE Campaign France urges President Macron to back statements from Ouagadougou with actions

ONE France, an international campaigning and advocacy organization, had a positive evaluation of French President Emmanuel Macron’s speech in Ouagadougou on November 28, 2017, referring to it as 'lucid', especially in regards to women’s rights. Nevertheless, ONE stated that the speech should also be backed by “concrete actions, reforms, processes that can be monitored and evaluated, and new funding”, noting that today only 0.15% of France’s bilateral development assistance is directed primarily at women and girls’ programs.

Press release – ONE France (in French)


Oxfam France calls on President Macron to increase ODA through new tax on financial transactions

Oxfam France has called on French President Emmanuel Macron to allocate 0.55%/GNI to ODA by 2022. In order to do this, France will have to allocate a budget of €15 billion in 2022; the current budget stands at €9 billion. According to Oxfam, this is a huge budgetary challenge that cannot be met without the adoption of strong measures, notably an increase in France’s financial transaction tax (FTT). Oxfam called for the issue to be put back into the current budget debate, and for President Macron to bring it up during his current trip to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

News article – Le Monde (in French)