- France is the fifth-largest donor country, spending US$11.1 billion on net official development assistance (ODA) in 2017 (in 2016 prices). This represents 0.43% of its gross national income (GNI), up from 0.38% in 2016. This is a 15% increase from 2016 levels.
- The French President Emmanuel Macron has committed to increasing ODA levels to 0.55% of GNI by 2022. In line with this pledge, France’s development budget is set to reach €10.4 billion (US$11.6 billion) or 0.44% of GNI in 2018, with gradual increases from 2020 onwards: 0.47% in 2020, 0.51% in 2021, and 0.55% in 2022. According to the Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID), two-thirds of the ODA increase will happen via the bilateral channel, with the French Development Agency (AFD) increasing its grants budget from the current €200 million (US$221 million) to €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) in 2022.
- According to the latest CICID conclusions, France has five key priority areas: 1) international stability, 2) climate change, 3) education, 4) gender equality, and 5) global health. Specifically, French President Macron has made global education and the fight against climate change key priorities of his government. In overall foreign policy, internal security and terrorism-related threats are strategic priorities, with a strong focus on the Sahel region of Africa, where development projects accompany France’s military and political interventions.
- Geographically, France takes a differentiated approach to allocating its ODA. It provides grants mainly to 19 countries, almost all in sub-Saharan Africa, while relying on ODA loans in emerging economies, with a particular focus on the Sahel region.
- President Macron committed to reaching ODA levels at 0.55% of GNI by 2022, up from 0.43% in 2017. If implemented, this increase will add considerable funding to France’s development budget. This may provide an opportunity to shape the allocation and access some of this additional funding, particularly for organizations working in France’s priority areas, such as climate and education.
- Since 2014, France has increasingly directed the proceeds generated from its financial transaction tax (FTT) to development and climate funding, from €100 million in 2014 to almost €800 million (US$885 million) in 2017 and 2018. The current French government pushes for the establishment of a EU-level FTT to finance international solidarity programs and the fight against climate change.
- In 2019, France will hold the G7 presidency. This is a crucial moment to ensure that international development issues remain high on the agenda and to advocate for strong commitments to the sector by member-countries.
the big six
- How much ODA does France provide?
France is the 5th-largest donor; ODA expected to increase to 0.55% by 2022
France was the fifth-largest donor country in 2017. It spent US$11.4 billion (in current prices, US$11.1 billion in 2016 prices), or 0.43% of its GNI, on net ODA. According to OECD DAC preliminary data, net ODA rose by 15% between 2016 and 2017, driven by increases in bilateral loans and higher multilateral contributions, including for UN bodies. For 2018, it is expected to continue rising, to reach 0.44% of France’s GNI, or €10.4 billion (US$11.6 billion). This 10% increase from 2017 level is partially driven by increases in loan transactions to the IMF, IDA, and GCF (+€321 million), in costs of hosting refugees (+€184 million), and in one of the main ODA-related budget lines, Program 209 (+€141 million). In total however, allocations to the two main ODA-relevant budget lines (Program 209, managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), and Program 110, managed by the Ministry of Economy and Finances), only increased slightly, by 4%, between 2017 and 2018 (from €2.9 billion to €3 billion).
In recent years, cuts in public spending have put strong pressure on France’s ODA budget, due to the country’s efforts to reduce its public deficit. Despite this pressure on public spending, French President Emmanuel Macron, elected in May 2017, has committed to increasing ODA funding to reach 0.55% of GNI by the end of his term, in 2022. His government detailed the trajectory of these increases in February 2018: funding is set at 0.44% of the country’s GNI until 2019, increasing to 0.47% in 2020 and 0.53% in 2021 before reaching 0.55% in 2022.
This additional funding will come from different sources: according to an October 2017 parliamentary hearing, budgetary allocations to Program 209 could increase by €1.3 billion by 2022 (US$1.4 billion). In addition, half of the proceeds from the French financial transaction tax (FTT) – a tax introduced in 2012 to generate more resources for solidarity purposes including climate programs – are allocated to development. These funds have been significantly increasing since 2014 and are estimated at around €800 million (US$885 million) from 2017 to 2020.
- Assemble nationale; Commission des affaires etrangeres; 2017 (in French)
- CICID; Conclusions; February 2018 (in French)
Other official sources
- OECD DAC; Peer review, France; 2012
- OECD DAC; press release on preliminary data for 2017, "Development aid stable in 2017 with more sent to poorest countries"; April 2018
Civil society sources
- What are France's strategic priorities for development?
Education, climate change, and global health are key focus areas; security concerns shape priority-setting
In February 2018, France’s Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID) – the body in charge of setting the strategic direction of France’s development cooperation – reaffirmed its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement, and the protection of global public goods. The committee also reiterated the overarching priorities of French development policy: fighting poverty and inequality; human rights, education, and health; accelerating transitions in energy, ecological sustainability, demographics and governance; crisis response and prevention; and migration management. The CICID also committed to strengthening France’s efforts in five areas: 1) international stability, 2) climate change, 3) education, 4) gender equality, and 5) global health.
2018 CICID conclusions outlined five key development priorities:
- Peace and stability: Increasing focus on development programs that promote peace and stability to fight terrorism; focus is on the Sahel region.
- Climate change: Increase in annual funding in partner countries; €1 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund for 2015 to 2018; €2 billion for renewable energies in Africa between 2016 and 2020.
- Education: Key priority for France; co-chair of the GPE Funding Conference in February 2018.
- Gender: Cross-cutting approach to France’s external action. Focus on access to essential services, women’s entrepreneurship, sexual and reproductive health, girl’s education.
- Health: Strong support to multilateral organizations, particularly the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
President Macron has made global education a key priority of his government’s development policy. In February 2018, France co-hosted the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Financing Conference in Dakar, Senegal. The Conference raised a total of US$2.3 billion in donor contributions for 2018 to 2020. France committed €200 million (US$260 million using GPE’s official conversion) over three years to the GPE Fund, which will be accompanied by €100 million in bilateral funding for basic education channeled through the French Development Agency (AFD). This is more than double the US$116 million cumulative contribution of France, which was the 11th-largest contributor in GPE’s history as of December 2017. For more information on France’s education ODA, see our ‘Deep Dive’: education ODA.
Tackling climate change is another priority and will remain so under President Macron’s government, who has made it a flagship theme of his presidency. In 2015, France hosted the Conference of Parties (COP21) to the United Nation’s climate convention and has made the implementation of the agreement a top priority of his government’s foreign and development policy. France plans to increase financing for climate-related programs by €2 billion (US$2.2 billion) per year between 2015 and 2020. Additionally, funding for climate-adaptation programs is set to reach €1.5 billion (US$1.7 billion) per year by then. In total, €3 billion (US$3.3 billion) of this funding over the 2016-2020 period will be dedicated specifically to renewable energies in Africa.
Global health also remains in focus, particularly on the multilateral level, through France’s strong support to multilateral initiatives like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund); Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi); and UNITAID. The government’s strategy for global health for 2017 to 2021 emphasizes four priorities for health interventions: 1) health systems strengthening (HSS), 2) global health security, 3) the promotion of health for the most vulnerable, and 4) the development of expertise, innovation, and research in global health.
Within its overall foreign policy, France focuses on fighting terrorism. This impacts development spending, as France increasingly uses development cooperation as a way to promote peace and stability in partner countries. This drives a strong focus on the Sahel region of Africa, where development projects accompany France’s military and political interventions. In July 2017, the French President launched the Sahel Alliance (Alliance avec le Sahel) a joint initiative of France, Germany, and the EU, along with the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the UN Development Program (UNDP), to better coordinate support for development and security in the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger). France committed €200 million to the Alliance (US$221 million). In addition, during a High-Level Conference on the Sahel in February 2018, France pledged €1.2 billion (US$1.3 billion) over the next five years for the G5 Sahel force.
Related to this and the increased attention to conflict-affected and fragile states, France increasingly focuses on the humanitarian aid-development nexus. It will dedicate €500 million (US$553 million) per year by 2022 to urgent humanitarian action and post-crisis stabilization. In 2016, it created a facility for alleviating vulnerability and responding to crises, managed by the AFD. The facility focuses on countries in crisis, post-crisis, or otherwise vulnerable situations, and was allocated €100 million in 2017. Funding for this facility will double by 2020 to reach €200 million (US$221 million). France’s humanitarian assistance strategy is expected to be published in March 2018.
France is a pioneer in using innovative financing mechanisms to fund development programs. France currently allocates half of the revenues from its national financial transaction tax (FTT) to development and climate programs (an estimated €798 million, or US$883 million in 2018). The French government is pushing for a FTT to be implemented at the European level to fund ODA and the fight against climate change. Domestically, it also uses proceeds from an airline ticket tax, of which €210 million (US$232 million) is allocated every year to development and climate change. In practice, those extra-budgetary revenues mobilized by the FTT and the airline tax are pre-allocated to the Solidarity Fund for Development, which redistributes resources to 29 organizations, among them the Global Fund, the Green Climate Fund, Gavi, IFFim, and UNITAID. France is also the second-largest contributor to the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) (see ‘Deep Dive: global health’ for more details).
Education is largest sector of bilateral ODA, but student costs distort picture; energy is rising
According to OECD data, France delivers 62% of its ODA bilaterally (2016). The single largest share goes to education: in 2016, education constituted 15% of French bilateral ODA (US$1.1 billion). However, 65% (US$868million) of this comprises costs of students from partner countries studying in France, which can be reported as ODA. Thus, the vast share of France’s education ODA does not go to actual projects in partner countries.
In line with France’s commitment to spend €2 billion in Africa on renewable energies, financing for energy-related projects went up by 22% between 2015 and 2016, reaching US$636 million and making it the second-largest sector of French bilateral ODA. Most of this (46% or US$290 million) was allocated to energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Water and sanitation comes third, at 8% of bilateral ODA (US$607 million), followed by infrastructure (US$585 million, or 8%).
- CICID; Conclusions; February 2018 (in French)
- MAE; Website, official development assistance section; 2018 (in French)
Other official sources
Civil society sources
- Who are the main actors in French development cooperation?
President has a key role; decision-making is fragmented, as several institutions are involved
France’s decision-making landscape for development policy is fragmented. The president, since May 2017 Emmanuel Macron (‘La République en Marche’; LRM), determines overall guidelines and engages in development issues through high-level commitments. The prime minister, Edouard Philippe since May 2017, chairs the Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID), which sets long-term strategic priorities and meets on an ad-hoc basis (approximately every two years since 1998). According to the conclusions of the latest CICID meeting in February 2018, France will establish a new coordination body, the Development Council, to complement CICID. Unlike in CICID, the French President will supervise the Development Council. It will meet on an ad-hoc basis to take strategic decisions on France’s development policy.
Within the government, two ministries jointly manage French development policy: the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MAE), led by Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and the Ministry of the Economy and Finance (Finance Ministry), under Bruno Lemaire’s leadership. Starting in 2018, the MAE is in charge of coordinating a yearly report to the President and Prime Minister on the implementation of the planned ODA increases, liaising with other ministries concerned.
FRANCE'S DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION SYSTEM
The French Development Agency (AFD), currently headed by Director-General Rémy Rioux, is France’s implementing agency. AFD has a dual status as a public agency and a development bank. It has 85 country offices and 2,400 employees. In 2016, AFD made a record €9.4 billion (US$10.4 billion) in new commitments, a 13% increase compared to 2015. AFD provides the vast share of its funding as loans (83% in 2016) and also takes part in equity investments/financial guarantees (5%). In 2016, grants made up 12% of AFD’s commitments. This includes debt-relief operations and budget support. AFD currently provides only small shares of its funding as grants for bilateral projects (around 3% in 2015, latest year for which this data is available) and funding for civil society organizations (CSOs; around 2%). Over half of AFD’s resources stem from bonds issued on international capital markets.
The French Development Agency (AFD) has a dual status as a public agency and a development bank.
The government plans to further expand the agency’s financing capacity. According to the February 2018 CICID meeting, two-thirds of the increase in French ODA planned until 2022 will be channeled through the AFD. This increase will also allow for a larger share of grants within the AFD’s portfolio.
In addition, the AFD signed a partnership convention with the Deposits and Consignments Fund (CDC), France’s main public-investment institution, in 2016. It aims to bring French policy and actions related to reaching the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in France and abroad under a single umbrella. The agreement foresees strengthened financing capacity for both institutions. To this end, an investment facility has been set up, focused on infrastructure. Initial financing from the CDC to the investment facility amounts to €500 million (US$553 million), topped up with €100 million contributed by the AFD. The focus will be on renewable energies; water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), telecommunications and digital infrastructure; waste treatment; transport; territorial development; and health and education. Half of this funding will go to Africa.
The French parliament’s two chambers, the National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) and the Senate (Sénat), scrutinize, propose amendments to, and vote on the budget. Members of Parliament (MPs) can reallocate spending within budget lines but cannot change the budget lines’ overall amounts. They usually receive information on individual budget lines shortly before the vote, which limits their influence. However, MPs can influence overall ODA levels by allocating high amounts of extra-budgetary resources (resources that are not integrated within ministries' budget lines) to development cooperation. This happened in the negotiations on the 2016 and on the 2017 budget: MPs amended the government's budget draft to increase proceeds of the financial transaction tax allocated to development assistance. A similar proposal was put forward in the fall of 2017 for the 2018 budget but was rejected by the majority of MPs.
In 2014, Parliament adopted France’s first-ever law on development cooperation. It aims to increase transparency and accountability, and foresees a review process of development policies by parliament every two years.
Civil society organizations (CSOs) play an influential role in France’s development policy as advisory bodies. Coordination SUD is the biggest CSO umbrella organization, gathering 140 French development NGOs. Its board of directors meet annually with AFD’s director. In 2013, the government created a ‘National Council for Development and International Solidarity’ (CNDSI) gathering representatives of CSOs, labor unions, local authorities, research institutes, and MPs. The Council is chaired by the MAE and meets twice a year to debate issues regarding French development policy.
CSOs currently play a relatively minor role in implementing French ODA: they channeled 3% of bilateral ODA in 2016, well below the average among OECD donor countries (16%). However, this is likely to change: In the 2018 CICID conclusions, the government committed to double funding channeled through NGOs between 2017 and 2022.
- How is the French ODA budget structured?
Two main envelopes for France’s development budget make up the ‘ODA mission’
French ODA (€10.4 billion or US$11.6 billion in 2018) stems from two main sources: ODA included in the general budget (€6.3 billion, or US$6.9 billion) and ODA from other sources not included in the general budget (€4.2 billion or US$4.6 billion), see table. The latter mainly includes contributions to the European Commission and multilateral organizations, funding generated through the financial transaction tax (FTT, €798 million in 2018), the airline ticket tax, and debt-relief mechanisms.
Overview: 2018 ODA budget
ODA from the general budget 6,267 6,932 Finance Ministry - program 110 961 1,063 01 - Multilateral economic and financial aid (mainly IFIs) 594 657 02 - Bilateral economic and financial aid, of which: 263 291 Transfers to AFD for loans 216 239 Technical assistance 30 33 General budget support 10 11 Administrative expenses 7 8 03- Compensation for debt relief (channeled through AFD and multilateral banks and funds) 104 115 MFA - program 209 1,738 1,923 02 - Bilateral cooperation, of which: 573 634 Transfers to AFD (bilateral grants, NGO funding) 290 320 C2D (AFD share) 48 54 Priority Solidarity Fund (FSP) 34 38 Other 201 222 05 - Voluntary multilateral contributions 151 167 07 - EDF 850 940 08 - Personnel 164 182 Other ministries 3,567 3,946 Higher education 1,076 1,190 Transfers from Treasury to AFD for loans (program 853) 1,033 1,143 Additional ODA for loans leveraged 77 85 Costs of hosting refugees 608 673 Others (amount of ODA coming from other relevant programs) 773 855 Extra-budgetary ODA sources 4,178 4,621 EC contributions 1,531 1,694 C2D (state share) 296 327 Loans transactions (IMF, IDA, GCF) 661 731 Debt relief (state) 220 243 Other (local and regional authorities, water agencies, AFD non-state resources) 462 511 Airline ticket tax 210 232 FTT 798 883 Total ODA 10,444 11,553
The two largest ODA programs of the general budget are included in what is called the ‘ODA mission’: Program 110 of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance (Finance Ministry) and Program 209 of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MAE).
- The Finance Ministry’s Program 110 (‘economic and financial development aid’) includes three main funding envelopes: 1) contributions to international financial institutions (IFI), 2) bilateral assistance (mostly for loans managed by the French Development Agency [AFD]), and 3) transfers to AFD and IFI to reimburse them for funds ‘lost’ when debt managed by them was cancelled.
- MAE’s Program 209 (‘solidarity with developing countries’) encompasses four main funding envelopes: 1) the bilateral-cooperation envelope, which mainly includes transfers to AFD (for bilateral grants, funding to CSOs, and technical assistance), Debt-Reduction Development Contracts (C2D), the MAE-managed Priority Solidarity Fund (FSP), 2) envelopes for voluntary multilateral contributions to UN agencies and other multilaterals, 3) contributions to the European Development Fund (EDF), and 4) staff costs.
For 2018, allocations to these two lines (‘programs’) together increased by €95 million compared to 2017, or 4%, to reach €3.8 billion.
Other ODA-relevant programs sourced from the general budget include the Finance Ministry’s Program 853, which is used to transfer additional funds to the AFD, allowing it to provide loans with concessional terms for partner countries. AFD thus receives the funds that it uses to issue loans mainly from the Finance Ministry’s programs 110 and 853.
- What are important decision-making opportunities in France's annual budget process?
Amounts allocated to main ODA budget lines are determined in June and July
- The Finance Ministry defines general budgetary orientations: From February to April, administrative and technical staff within the Ministry of the Economy and Finance (Finance Ministry) and other ministries develop the economic forecast and measures to define the general orientation of budget policy.
- Prime Minister sends out budget guidelines: Around May each year, the prime minister sends three-year budget guidelines (‘lettres de cadrage’) to each Ministry. These guidelines include general orientations of the budget, such as objectives regarding budget deficit, staff payrolls, or major spending cuts or increases.
- MAE starts developing its budget request: In parallel, around May/June, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) starts developing its budget request for the following year, including for the development budget. It does so in consultation with the Finance Ministry. Negotiations and arbitrations between the different ministries take place.
- Debate on budgetary orientations: From June until mid-July, the government presents its general budgetary guidelines for the next year to Parliament, and the ‘debate on budgetary orientation’ takes place. This debate provides an opportunity for CSOs to advocate for funding increases for ODA.
- PM sends expenditure ceilings: Usually by mid-July, the Prime Minister (PM) presents expenditure ceilings (‘lettres-plafond’) to each Minister, fixing the maximum allocation for each major public-policy area. This includes funding for the ‘ODA mission’ (‘Politique francaise en faveur du développement’), jointly managed by the MAE (Program 209) and the Finance Ministry (Program 110).
- Ministries review their budget requests and decide allocations: From mid-July to October, the MAE and the Finance Ministry review their ODA budget requests in light of the expenditure ceiling and develop budget documents. Allocations to the two main ODA budget lines, programs 209 (MAE) and 110 (Finance Ministry), and budget lines within these programs, are decided upon during this period.
- Parliament examines, amends, and votes on budget bill: In October, the government submits its draft budget bill to parliament, which has 70 days to examine, amend, and vote on it. Members of Parliament only receive information on individual budget lines shortly before the vote, which inhibits any real influencing at that stage. In 2015 and 2016, however, Members of Parliament were able to influence budget allocations to development by voting to increase the amount of the financial transaction tax dedicated to development. After being voted on by the plenary, the budget is signed by the President before Christmas.
- How is France's ODA spent?
France channels most ODA bilaterally, but is also a strong supporter of multilaterals
France channels around two thirds of its ODA through bilateral channels (63%, or US$7.3 billion in 2016). France provides much of its bilateral ODA as loans. This is because they are a relatively easy way for France to increase its overall ODA level while minimizing the impact on actual budget transfers. In 2016, loans represented almost half of France’s bilateral ODA (45%, a high proportion in comparison with other donors of the OECD development assistance committee (DAC): 9% on average). The government has, however, committed to increasing the share of grants within its ODA, especially for its 19 priority countries.
Debt relief used to account for a large part of French bilateral ODA but has sharply declined in recent years (to reach 2% in 2016, from 14% in 2013). However, the Ministry of the Economy and Finance (Finance Ministry) and the French Development Agency (AFD) still implement programs called Debt- Reduction Development Contracts (C2D) that France signs with some of its partner countries: a portion of the debt relieved is allocated to sectors related to development, such as health and agriculture. For example, in June 2016, Côte d'Ivoire and the AFD signed a new C2D agreement for a new maternal, newborn, and child health program amounting to €68 million (US$75 million).
It is worth noting that figures on bilateral ODA reported by France also include a range of other items categorized as grants that do not represent actual cash transfers from France to a recipient country. The best example is imputed costs for students from middle- and low-income countries studying in France (US$868 million in 2016).
Core contributions to multilaterals account for more than a third of France’s total ODA (37%, or US$4.3 billion in 2016). More than half of this consists of binding contributions to the European Union (57% in 2016). France’s multilateral engagement strategy for 2017-2021, ‘For a performant development assistance that serves the most vulnerable’ outlines three main objectives: 1) to serve the most vulnerable; 2) to be aligned with the goals of the 2030 global agenda; and 3) to be aligned with France’s vision of sustainable development. Health is a key sector of France’s multilateral engagement: France provides strong support to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi), and to UNITAID (for more details, see ‘Deep Dive: global health’). All three of these organizations are outlined as key partners in France’s 2017-2021 multilateral engagement strategy. In addition to core contributions, France also provides 1% of its ODA to multilaterals as earmarked funding (US$107 million), which is reported as bilateral ODA. This is a very low share compared to the average among members of the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD, which stands at 11%.
Who are France’s ODA recipients?
France focuses its grants on sub-Saharan Africa and its loans on MICs; increased focus on Sahel region
France places a strong focus on sub-Saharan Africa: between 2014 and 2016, it allocated almost a third of its bilateral ODA to the region (31%).This focus is likely to continue, particularly as France increasingly focuses on the Sahel region through its Sahel Alliance (for more details, see question two: ‘What are France’s strategic priorities for development?’)
France takes a differentiated approach to ODA depending on the partner country’s level of income: loans focus largely on emerging economies, whereas grants are primarily allocated to low-income economies.
For ODA grants, France has identified 19 fragile and least-developed countries to focus on (‘Pays Pauvres Prioritaires’, also known as ‘PPPs’), almost all in sub-Saharan Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. With the exception of Ethiopia, Gambia, and Liberia, they are all francophone. France seeks to allocate at least half of all grants and two-thirds of AFD grants to these countries.
France’s ODA loans focus on emerging economies. Because of France’s emphasis on loans to deliver ODA, middle-income countries (MICs) receive the largest share of France’s bilateral ODA, amounting to almost 59% between 2014 and 2016. All top-10 recipients of France’s bilateral ODA are middle-income countries (see figure).
How is bilateral funding programmed?
Embassies develop Partnership Framework Documents that shape programming
Under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) and in collaboration with partner countries, embassies develop ‘Partnership Framework Documents’ (‘Documents Cadre de Partenariat’, or ‘DCPs’). DCPs detail the work of all French actors involved in development programs in the partner country. They provide overall guidance for French cooperation over a period of three years for up to three priority sectors per country. Since 2011, DCPs are only mandatory for France’s 19 priority countries.
The AFD develops projects according to partner country demands. AFD is responsible for the formulation, management, and supervision of projects. The MAE is consulted and involved in various stages of policy development and monitoring of projects. In practice, AFD benefits from a large degree of autonomy to allocate funding to specific sectors depending on recipient countries’ requests.
- AFD; AFD's activity report; 2017
- National Assembly; Parliamentary hearing on development assistance budget for 2018; 2017 (in French)
- CICID; Statement of conclusions; February 2018
Other official sources
How will French ODA develop?
- French President Emmanuel Macron has committed to reaching 0.55% of GNI by 2022, with gradual increases from 2020 onwards: 0.47% in 2020, 0.51% in 2021, and 0.55% in 2022. According to the CICID, two-thirds of the ODA increase will happen via the bilateral channel, with the French Development Agency (AFD) increasing its grants budget from the current €200 million (US$221 million) to €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) in 2022. The trajectory for this increase will be monitored on a yearly basis by a Steering Committee on International Solidarity and Development under the supervision of the MAE and the Ministry of Economy and Finance. The 2018 ODA budget is set at 0.44% of GNI, up from 0.43% in 2017.
What will France’s ODA focus on?
- Tackling climate change and its impacts will remain a major focus of France’s development policy in the coming years. The French government will increase funding for development programs related to climate change, including for related areas such as agriculture and sanitation. By 2020, €1.5 billion (US$1.7 billion) will go to adaptation projects, including within agriculture. Further, €3 billion (US$3.3 billion) between 2016 and 2020 will benefit renewable-energy projects in Africa.
- French President Macron has made education a key priority. This strong focus will likely lead to funding increases in this sector over the coming years. In February 2018, France showed international leadership on this by co-hosting the GPE Financing Conference. In its February meeting, the Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID) confirmed the ‘promotion of global education’ as one of France’s priority sectors.
- Health will remain a key focus of France’s multilateral engagement, reaffirmed in its ‘Strategy for multilateral aid’ for 2017 to 2021. Major partner organizations quoted in the strategy are the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), to which it will maintain a high level of contributions from 2017 to 2019 (€1.1 billion), UNITAID, and IFFIm.
What are key opportunities for shaping France’s development policy?
- The French President’s commitment to global development and to reaching ODA levels of 0.55% of GNI by 2022 presents an opportunity for shaping the government’s funding allocations, as much of this additional funding has not been firmly allocated yet.
- Global education has gained momentum as a policy area since French President Macron’s election in 2017: this provides opportunities to take part in public dialogue around allocations and funding to the area.
- France will hold the G7 presidency in 2019. This presents an opportunity to push development issues high on the agenda, and to advocate for strong commitments from member states.