November 13, 2017: AFD hosts conference on how French development assistance can address inequality

French Development Agency AFD hosts conference “Overcoming inequalities: what roles for AFD and NGOs”, looking at the effects of AFD and NGO projects tackling inequality. Some of the questions considered are: What are the public policies that have the greatest impact on inequality? To what extent is the rights approach adopted by the Nordic countries and a growing number of NGOs relevant to addressing inequalities? How can we reduce inequalities in access to speech, political representation, and the participation of those who are directly affected by public projects and policies? The conference is hosted by Christian Chavagneux, editorialist at Alternatives Economiques, and Antoine de Ravignan, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Alternatives Economiques.

Location: Paris, France

Website – Eventbrite (in French)


French CSOs release study on impact of conflicts and climate change on food security

French organizations Action Against Hunger (ACF) and the Inter-Agency Regional Analysts Network (IARAN) have released a study that looks at the current state of the fight against hunger and progress toward the 2030 SDG targets. According to the study, progress and results are considerably affected by the increase in the number of conflicts worldwide and the impact of climate change. ACF calls on governments and other donors in developed countries to increase their humanitarian funding, to strengthen their support to small farmers, and to improve strategies for mitigation and climate change adaptation over the long term.

Publication - ACF

France Agriculture Nutrition

Oxfam France publishes proposal on French international development policy

Oxfam France participates in a joint effort -- under the Etats Généraux de l’Alimentation (EGA) -- to influence French international assistance policy, specifically with regards to food security. The EGA gathers agricultural organizations, private companies, governmental actors, and CSOs working on food-related issues to advocate that the French Ministry of Agriculture adopt policies that strengthen food sovereignty through local agriculture development and agroecology.

Oxfam and various CSOs have put forth policy proposals online, which can be voted on by the general public.

Publication - Etats Généraux de l’Alimentation (in French)

France Agriculture Nutrition

Former French culture minister elected Director General of UNESCO

Former French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay has been nominated the new Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) by the organization’s executive board. She replaces outgoing Director General Irina Bokova. Azoulay's nomination comes at a difficult time for UNESCO, with the US's recent withdrawal of its membership due to a perceived “anti-Israel bias” within the organization. French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Le Drian reiterated support for Azoulay and UNESCO's mission, stating that “France promotes strong and responsible multilateralism capable of meeting the challenges of our time”.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in French)


Foreign affairs ministry lists France's contribution to the rights of girls

On the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) listed the country’s actions in the field of education, health, and the rights of girls – notably through multilateral mechanisms and international organizations. According to the MFA, France supports PLAN, UNESCO, and UNICEF in their interventions in Senegal, Togo, and Cameroon to guarantee girls’ safety and access to school. The ministry also supports the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UNITAID and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, in providing HIV/AIDS prevention and vaccination for girls. The MFA also noted its support for the Muskoka Fund, which enables women to learn about communicable diseases, contraception, and their rights in the face of violence.

Press release - MFA (in French)


Director of French development agency named head of International Development Finance Club

General Director of the French Development Agency (ADF) Rémy Rioux has been appointed to head the International Development Finance Club (IDFC), a club of 23 major national and regional development banks which commits US$630 billion in funding annually for a fairer and more equitable economy. According to Rioux, major priorities for the AFD within IDFC are 1) to build on climate finance, in particular the implementation of the Paris Agreement, 2) to explore innovations for SDGs in the areas of governance, inequality, and urban development, and 3) to increase service to IDFC members, and help to raise international awareness on the role of national and regional development banks.

Press release - ADF (in French)


President Macron pledges €10 million increase to UNHCR and IOM in Libya

French President Emmanuel Macron pledged an additional €10 million in funding to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Libya. The announcement was made at the Elysée Presidential Palace, where the President was receiving UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. Macron claimed it necessary to provide support for countries hosting the most refugees, while also stating that “any action must take place as close as possible to conflict zones”. He also reiterated the need for Europe to build a common area of ​​protection and solidarity by setting up a European Asylum Office, which would also accelerate and harmonize registration procedures, and provide a common job training and integration program for refugees.

A recent Foreign Policy feature claimed that numerous human rights violations are taking place against migrants currently in EU-funded detention centers in Libya. 

Press release - Elysee (in French)


French development agency to commit €23 billion to Africa in the next five years

Rémy Rioux, Director of the French Development Agency (AFD), has announced that the agency will commit €23 billion to Africa in the next five years. AFD also intends to maintain its target of allocating 50% of its development cooperation in Africa, about €4 to €5 billion per year. The agency will mobilize the full range of its financial instruments, including loans, grants, guarantees, and equity, as well as its expertise and research capabilities.

According to Rioux, AFD will channel the funding through new initiatives such as the Crisis and Conflict Facility and the Sahel Alliance. AFD’s key priorities are demographic and social transitions, followed by climate change and urbanization, energy, politics and citizenship, and digitalization.

News article - Le Soleil (in French)


Coordination SUD publishes report on agriculture and climate change adaptation

French NGO umbrella organization Coordination SUD released its fourth issue of ‘Les Notes de SUD’, a periodical publication on international development. The new issue, based on a report by Coordination SUD’s Agriculture and Food Commission, addresses climate change adaptation for family farming. Specifically, it focuses on policy recommendations to foster the implementation of adaptation strategies of family farms and results obtained in the field so far.

Publication - Coordination SUD 

France Agriculture

French NGOs campaign to mobilize citizens and MPs for increase in ODA

A group of French NGOs has launched an online campaign called #mercidavance (‘Thanks in advance’), aiming to mobilize citizens for an increase in Official Development Assistance at a moment when the French Parliament is discussing the 2018 draft budget bill. The campaign explains the debate around ODA and the 0.7% ODA/gross national income (GNI) target. It also urges citizens to pressure their direct representatives in the National Assembly to stand for international solidarity and back a more substantial increase in French ODA for 2018 (the current proposal is for a €90 million increase).

Among the participating NGOs are ONE France, Oxfam France, Action Against Hunger, Global Health Advocates, Care, Climate Action Network France, and Printemps Solidaire.

Website - Merci D'avance (in French)