Donor Profile


Last updated: April 26, 2024


ODA Spending

How much ODA does France contribute?

France was the 4th largest DAC donor country in 2022, with total ODA amounting to US$16 billion.

When ranked by prioritization of development, France was the 10th largest donor, spending 0.56% of its GNI on ODA in 2022.

How is French ODA changing?

France’s ODA has been growing steadily in recent years. The increases in absolute and relative ODA are largely in line with France’s goal of reaching an ODA/GNI ratio of 0.7% in 2025. This goal was pledged by President Macron in 2017, and later enshrined in the landmark Programming Law for Solidarity-based Development and the Fight Against Global Inequalities adopted in 2021 which included a milestone ODA/GNI ratio of 0.55% in 2022.

France provided an estimated US$15.5 billion of ODA in 2023, or about 0.5% of GNI, compared to 0.56% in 2022. According to ONE, this is the biggest decrease in volume since 2007.

According to France’s development law, France should have reached a 0.61% ODA/GNI ratio in 2023, but the July 2023 CICID extended the 0.7% target until 2030.

In recent years, France has pioneered innovative financing mechanisms, such as the FTT and an airline tax, to fund multilateral development priorities, namely health and climate organizations. Revenues raised by both the FTT and the airline tax mobilize EUR738 million (US$872 million) every year for multilateral assistance, disbursed through the Solidarity Fund. France has also taken the lead in advocating for the use of SDRs to increase overall ODA, committing to redirect 30% of its SDR allocation to the African continent.

On September 10, 2023, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke on the publication of the joint G20 communiqué in his speech during the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, welcoming the AU as a permanent G20 member and commenting on funding mobilization efforts.

Advocating for SDR Reallocation

Macron applauded the fact that the G20 goal of reallocating US$100 billion in SDRs from HICs to LICs and MICs countries had been surpassed, totaling US$108 billion. France exceeded its previous reallocation pledge, reallocating 40% of its SDRs,or approximately US$7.5 billion. He emphasized France's central role with the IMF in launching and proposing this initiative.

During his second term, Macron is expected to continue promoting multilateralism and engaging France on global issues, while taking steps to renew the nature and modalities of France’s partnership with the African continent. With the Russian war in Ukraine dominating the political agenda, France will likely focus multilateral engagement on increased defense and security cooperation, energy independence, as well as humanitarian assistance, including to countries affected by the global food supply crisis.

Where is French ODA allocated?

According to the 2021 development law, bilateral ODA is set to represent 65% of France’s total ODA on average between 2022-2025. This effectively introduces a cap on multilateral spending and may result in a larger budget for France’s implementing agencies, particularly the AFD.

Bilateral Spending

Since 2016, an increasing proportion of French bilateral ODA has been allocated to IDRcs. While education has typically received the largest share of France's bilateral ODA, in 2022, government & civil society and IDRCs became the top funding areas.

France’s approach to ODA is differentiated by the recipient country’s income level, with loans primarily extended to emerging economies and grants to LICs.

France focuses its grants on 19 LICs designated as PPPs. Almost all of these partners are located in ‘Sub-Saharan Africa’, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, the Gambia, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.

The 2021 Development Law dictates that by 2025, priority countries should receive 25% of French bilateral ODA and at least half of all grants. The top recipients of grant funding in 2022 were Côte d'Ivoire, Morocco, and Cameroon.

The government has committed to increasing the share of grants within its ODA, with the 2021 Development Law stipulating that grants should make up 70% of bilateral ODA over the 2022-2025 period.

France places a strategic focus on countries on the African continent. In 2022, France allocated 30% of bilateral ODA to SSA. This focus is likely to continue as France increasingly prioritizes the Sahel region.

Multilateral Spending and Commitments

Despite France’s emphasis on bilateral funding, it remains a strong supporter of many multilateral organizations, with core multilateral ODA amounting to 35% in 2022. France’s largest recipient, the EU, receives almost half of France’s multilateral ODA. Additionally, health is a key sector of France’s multilateral engagement, particularly when it comes to vertical funds. It is a strong supporter of the Global Fund, Unitaid, and Gavi.

France's strategy for multilateral ODA (2017-2021) has not yet been renewed - the strategy and priorities on and for multilateral aid are included in the conclusions of the CICID, which took place in July 2023. Moreover, since the COVID-19 pandemic, France has been a strong supporter of the WHO and its central position in the global health architecture. This strategic focus is likely to continue, as suggested by the Court of Audits’ 2023 report.

Politics & Priorities

What is the current state of French politics?

France is a unitary, semi-presidential constitutional republic. Elections take place every five years. There are five main parties represented in the French Parliament: Renaissance, the Republicans, the Socialist Party, La France Insoumise, and the National Rally.

Emmanuel Macron of the Renaissance party has been in power since May 2017. Macron won reelection in April 2022 in a runoff against Marine Le Pen of the National Rally, a right-wing populist party that saw a surge in popularity. President Macron leads the country’s high-level international priorities, while the Prime Minister focuses on domestic affairs.

Following massive success by the National Rally in the June 2024 EU parliamentary elections, Macron called a snap election to be held in July 2024. In a shock result, the left-wing alliance New Popular Front won a plurality of seats, with the Macron-supporting alliance Ensemble coming in second and the National Rally placing third. No party obtained the 289 seats needed for an overall majority, with France facing a hung parliament. Passing legislation and building consensus is expected to be extremely difficult under the highly fragmented conditions.

Who is responsible for allocating French ODA?

What are France's development priorities?

In 2018, France’s CICID—the body in charge of setting the strategic direction of France’s development cooperation—defined France’s sectoral priorities, which include:

  1. International stability;
  2. Climate change;
  3. Education;
  4. Gender equality; and
  5. Global health.

These priorities were reaffirmed by the 2021 Development Law.

On July 18, 2023, the CICID met to formulate a new series of guidelines for France's development priorities. The meeting of the CICID followed the Presidential Development Council held on May 5, 2023, which set 10 major priority objectives for the future of French development assistance.

These objectives were reiterated in the CICID conclusions. Concrete examples of supported policies from the meeting included:

  • Accelerating the exit from coal-based energy and financing renewable energy to limit global warming to 1.5 °C;
  • Protecting carbon and biodiversity reserves in forests and oceans;
  • Investing in youth by supporting education and educator training in partner countries;
  • Investing in primary health systems and supporting the training of health care providers in partner countries;
  • Promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa;
  • Mobilizing expertise as well as private and public funding for strategic, quality, and sustainable infrastructures in partner countries;
  • Strengthening food sovereignty, particularly in African partner countries;
  • Supporting human rights and democracy and fighting disinformation;
  • Promoting women's rights and gender equality, in particular by supporting women's organizations and institutions; and
  • Helping partner countries dismantle illegal immigration networks.


Climate Change


Gender Equality

Global Health

In addition to prescribing the 0.7% ODA/GNI financial target for 2025, the 2021 Development Law provides for a larger overhaul of French development policy. It sets three objectives for France’s ODA:

  • The fight against poverty, malnutrition, and global inequalities, and the promotion of education and health;
  • The promotion of human rights, particularly children, the rule of law and democracy, and Francophonie; and
  • The protection of global public goods, in particular in the context of climate change.

In addition, gender equality has become a cross-cutting objective, in line with France’s "feminist foreign diplomacy".

Within its overall foreign policy, France focuses on fighting terrorism and increasingly aims to use development cooperation to leverage peace and stability in partner countries, notably in the Sahel region.

By issue

France maintains a high level of interest in global health and took an active part in the COVID-19 pandemic response, increasing its financial contributions to the sector, notably to the Global Fund, COVAX AMC, WHO, Unitaid, and the Pandemic Fund.

France co-hosted the Paris Summit for a new Global Financial Pact together with India on June 22-23, 2023. The summit aimed to define concrete actions to support the most vulnerable countries and reform the international financial architecture to accelerate an equitable global transition towards net-zero emissions and the development of LICs.

The Summit included a high-level steering committee and four working groups on thematic areas of:

  • Fiscal space;
  • Private sector;
  • Green infrastructure;
  • Innovative financing; and
  • One expert group for financing loss and damage and adaptation.

The summit sought to reform the global financial architecture including the reform of multilateral development banks, the mobilization of the private sector, the mobilization of resources for climate change, the effective allocation of SDRs, the design and support for new taxes to fund global public goods and debt solutions for the most vulnerable countries.

Breaking the “cycle of panic and neglect"

France is increasingly committed to addressing the climate transition and environmental issues, such as the protection of biodiversity and transitioning food systems.

France also focuses on projects at the intersection of humanitarian assistance and development. By 2022, the government had planned to dedicate EUR500 million ( US$560 million) per year to urgent humanitarian action and post-crisis stabilization. France has recently emphasized food security as part of its humanitarian efforts.

By region

The 2021 Development Law reaffirmed France’s geographical priorities with a focus on the African continent as a whole, the Sahel region in particular, and the ‘Mediterranean zone.’

France’s focus on the African continent has been accompanied by attempts to reshape the relationship with Africa and build a new partnership narrative. Examples of these attempts include high-level events such as the ‘New Africa-France Summit’ in October 2021, as well as the February 2022 ‘ AU/EU summit’ that France led as part of the French Presidency of the European Council.

France also seeks to support local actors more directly, for instance in R&D and global health through local production and manufacturing, local procurement, and technology transfers, or democracy through efforts like the Innovation Fund for Democracy. On February 28, 2023, before departing for Gabon, Angola, Congo-Brazzaville, and DRC, Macron held a press conference in Paris to present France’s renewed Africa strategy. He vowed to depart from a strictly military and economic policy toward Africa and to promote cooperation in fields such as health, innovation and agriculture. Macron’s speech marks a new vision for his second mandate, moving away from an ODA-based relationship toward an economic and cultural partnership. Following the speech, France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna referred to new partnerships that will need to be built with Africa, including the preservation of forests, the fight against climate change, the fight against pandemics, and the defense of multilateralism.

Like most EU countries, France has been providing substantial political and financial support to Ukraine since the full-scale invasion by Russia in February 2022.

Visit our Ukraine ODA Tracker for more details


France’s 2024 budget was finalized on December 29, 2023. It amounts to EUR491.9 billion ( US$518 billion), a decrease of EUR85 billion or ( US$89.6 billion), or 15%, compared to the 2023 budget of EUR577 billion ( US$607.6 billion). The decrease was driven by fiscal tightening due to high debt levels. The French government plans to spend EUR9.8 billion ( US$10.3 billion) on programmable ODA in 2024. Refugee costs are expected to amount to EUR711 million ( US$749 million), a decrease of EUR5 million ( US$5 million) from 2023 levels of EUR 716 million ( US$754 million).

What are the sources of France's ODA budget?

French ODA stems from two main sources: the general budget and other sources not included in the general budget. The latter mainly includes debt relief mechanisms, contributions to the European Commission and multilateral organizations, and funding generated through the FTT (EUR528 million, or US$624 million, in 2024) and the airline ticket tax (EUR210 million, or US$248 million, in 2024).

Within the main budget, the MEAE funds 39.8% of ODA. It decides on budget lines, including Program 209 and sets development priorities and strategies in coordination with other ministries as part of the CICID. The CICID Secretariat in turn oversees AFD priorities. The MEF contributes 35.7% of ODA. It sets general budget orientations, decides on budget lines, including Program 110, and sets development priorities and strategies in coordination with other ministries as part of the CICID. The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation is the third-largest source of ODA, managing 16.8% of the ODA budget in 2024, an 18.6% increase compared to 2023. The Ministry of Home Affairs finances IDRC, amounting to 7.3% of programmable ODA in 2024, which is a decrease compared to the previous 2023 budget. Other programs, managed by Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Sport, make up 0.4% of ODA.

The so-called ODA Mission is composed of the two largest ODA programs in the general budget: Program 110 of the MEF and Program 209 of the MEAE.

What are the steps and timelines for France's ODA budget approval?

The French fiscal year corresponds to the calendar year.

The Donor Tracker team, along with many DAC donor countries, no longer uses the term "foreign aid". In the modern world, "foreign aid" is monodirectional and insufficient to describe the complex nature of global development work, which, when done right, involves the establishment of profound economic and cultural ties between partners.

We strongly prefer the term Official Development Assistance (ODA) and utilize specific terms such as grant funding, loans, private sector investment, etc., which provide a clearer picture of what is concretely occurring. “Foreign aid” will be referenced for accuracy when referring to specific policies that use the term. Read more in this Donor Tracker Insight.

Our France Experts

Mareike Fürst

Mareike Fürst