France - Nutrition

Strategic priorities highlight increased focus on the fight against hunger and malnutrition

In 2018, the French Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID) included the fight against hunger and malnutrition as one of the sectors France seeks to strengthen in the coming years.

According to France’s main strategy for nutrition, the ‘France International Strategy for Food Security, Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture 2019-2024’, France focuses on 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 (undernutrition of young children and pregnant and breastfeeding women),
  4. Supporting the structuring of sustainable agri-food sectors to promote the creation of decent jobs in rural areas (focus on youth), and
  5. Strengthening food assistance actions for vulnerable populations and improving their resilience to the causes of food insecurity, whether in emergency contexts or in contexts of chronic food insecurity.

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. In line with its overall geographic priorities, nutrition-related activities focus on sub-Saharan Africa.

Quantifying France’s nutrition-related activities is difficult because of its cross-sectoral engagement. According to OECD data, France spent only US$6 million on basic nutrition (also known as nutrition-specific interventions) in 2018. However, overall funding to nutrition is higher, as France also funds nutrition-sensitive interventions. According to the 2020 Global Nutrition Report, France’s nutrition-sensitive interventions amounted to US$28 million in 2017 (the latest year for which data is available), up from US$18 million in 2016. France is also a member of the Scaling-Up Nutrition movement (SUN), an initiative encouraging countries 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.