New strategic priorities outline increased focus on fight against hunger and malnutrition

In 2018, the French Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID) set 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, the ‘International Nutrition Roadmap 2016-2020’, France focuses on two objectives: first, the prevention and treatment of malnutrition in women of child-bearing age and in children under two, and second, improving the efficiency of international mobilization in the fight against malnutrition. France’s nutrition ODA focuses on eight priority countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Laos, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Central African Republic, and Chad.  The importance of nutrition as a determining health factor is growing in France’s development policy, particularly for maternal, newborn, and children’s health (MNCH). In line with its overall geographic priorities, nutrition-related activities focus on sub-Saharan Africa.

Quantifying France’s engagement around nutrition is difficult because of this cross-sectoral perspective. According to OECD data, France spent only US$8 million on basic nutrition in 2016. However, overall funding to nutrition is higher, as France chooses to direct its funding towards nutrition-sensitive interventions rather than towards nutrition-specific programs. According to the 2017 Global Nutrition Report, France’s nutrition-sensitive intervention amounted to US$24 million in 2015, the latest year for which data is available. 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 and International Development (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 of Foreign Affairs, gathers the ministries of Finance, Environment, Education and research, the French Development Agency (AFD), research institutes, NGOs, French farmers, and foundations.