France - Nutrition

France is increasingly focused on the fight against hunger and malnutrition

France’s main strategy for nutrition, the ‘France International Strategy for Food Security, Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture 2019-2024’, outlines five objectives:

  1. Strengthening global governance of food security and nutrition;
  2. Developing sustainable agricultural and food systems (agroecology);
  3. Strengthening France’s action on nutrition, focusing especially on malnutrition in young children and pregnant and breastfeeding women;
  4. Restructuring sustainable agri-food sectors to promote job creation in rural areas with a focus on youth; and
  5. Strengthening food assistance actions for vulnerable populations and improving resilience to food insecurity, whether in emergency or chronic food insecurity contexts.

The importance of nutrition as a determining factor for health is growing in France’s development policy, particularly when it comes to maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH). In line with its overall geographic priorities, nutrition-related activities focus on ‘sub-Saharan Africa’, (SSA; meaning the countries of Eastern, Western, Central, and Southern Africa according to the African Union’s (AU) designations).

Quantifying France’s nutrition-related activities is difficult because of its cross-sectoral engagement. According to Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECDO) data, France spent US$22 million on ‘basic nutrition’ (also known as nutrition-specific interventions) in 2020. Overall funding to nutrition is somewhat higher as France also funds nutrition-sensitive interventions. During the 2022 G7 process, President Macron announced that France will double its contribution to food security, amounting to €700 million (US$798 million) in total, of which €150 million (US$171 million) are allocated to the World Food Program (WFP). In response to the surge in food prices following the Russian war in Ukraine, France launched the Food & Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM) initiative for food security together with its partners in the EU and the AU. Mobilizing international organizations, private sector, and civil society representatives, FARM seeks to tackle the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including price levels, production, and access to and supply of grain. FARM is based on three pillars:

  • A “trade pillar” to reduce tensions in agricultural markets;
  • A “solidarity pillar” to support Ukraine’s agricultural capacities; and
  • A “production pillar” to strengthen agricultural capabilities sustainably in countries most affected by the crisis.

 France is also a member of the Scaling-Up Nutrition movement (SUN), an initiative to mobilize and scale up resources for nutrition globally.

GISA supports the MAE in defining strategic priorities for nutrition

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (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 Foreign Affairs, brings together the ministries of Finance, Environment, Education and Research, the French Development Agency (AFD), research institutes, NGOs, French farmers, and foundations.