French NGOs criticize 'repressive' G7 communiqué on migration

Coordination SUD, the French non-governmental (NGO) umbrella organization, has issued a statement criticizing the extensive and 'repressive' wording related to migration in a new joint declaration issued by a meeting of interior ministers for the G7 in Paris. In the statement, it highlights the regrettable focus on the protection of EU borders without tackling the root causes of migration and the plight of migrants.

The declaration notably states G7 countries will support Liyian coastguards to intercept migrants, a point that Coordination SUD objects to, arguing that Libya is a not secure place and has not ratified the Geneva Conventions on refugees.

Website - Coordination SUD (in French)


OECD DAC preliminary data release shows ODA down by 2.7% in 2018

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's Development Assistance Committee (OECD DAC) has published preliminary data for 2018, showing that official development assistance (ODA) fell by 2.7% in 2018. The data release is the first to use the OECD's  new 'grant equivalent' methodology. Applied for the first time in 2018, the method aims to ‘provide a more realistic comparison of the effort involved in providing grants and loans and encourage the provision of grants and highly concessional loans, especially to low-income countries’.

Net ODA from DAC members reached US$153 billion in 2018. The largest donors in absolute amounts were 1) the US (US34.3 billion), Germany (US$25 billion), 3) the UK (US19.4 billion), 4) Japan (US$14.2 billion), and 5) France (US$12.2 billion). In relative terms, the largest donors were Sweden at 1.04% of its gross national income (GNI), Luxembourg (0.98%), Norway (0.94%), Denmark (0.72%) and the UK(0.7%).

For more detailed information on the performance of bilateral donors, see the OECD DAC's detailed summary here.

OECD DAC – Press release “Development aid drops in 2018, especially to neediest countries”

France increased development spending in 2018

According to preliminary figures released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's Development Assistance Committee (OECD DAC), France increased its development spending by 4.4% in 2018, reaching US$12.5 billion. France ranks fifth among top donor countries in absolute amount, representing 0.43% of its Gross National Income (GNI).

France's development agency, the AFD, has recently been given €1 billion for the following years. If disbursed rapidly, this increase might be reflected in 2020 figures, following the pledge made by French President Emmanuel Macron to drastically increase spending to reach 0.55% of GNI 2022.

Website - OECD website
News article - Le Monde Afrique (in French)


ONE campaign reacts to first 2019 G7 communiqué

The director of ONE France has welcomed the release of the first G7 communiqué following the Foreign Affairs ministerial meeting that took place on April 6 in Dinard, France. ONE applauded France's move to put women's rights on the G7 agenda. However, according to ONE, the communiqué does not mention any clear policy and financial commitments for women and girls in Africa, and the Heads of State Summit held in Biarritz in August will need to be more concrete. 

ONE France also criticized the lack of transparency of the G7 process, which does not allow civil society organizations to monitor progress of the G7 negotiations in real time.

Press release - ONE (in French)


Action against Hunger calls on G7 countries to end use of hunger as weapon of war

At the G7 Foreign Affairs ministerial meeting in Dinard, France, non-governmental organization (NGO) Action Against Hunger highlighted the fact an increasing numer of people suffering from hunger worldwide is mainly due to armed conflicts. The NGO recommends G7 leaders to align their policies with the United Nations Security Council adopted last year to implement concrete measures to stop the use of hunger as a weapon of war. Notably, this includes lending support to independent inquiry in countries affected by starvation or when parties refuse access to humanitarian aid. 

In 2016, 60% of people suffering from hunger were living in countries affected by conflicts. 

Press release - Action against Hunger (in French)


French and German development agencies strengthen partnership

The director of the French development Agency (AFD) and Joachim Nagel of KfW, the German state-owned development bank, signed a memorandum of understanding reinforcing the cooperation between the two development institutions. The agreement aims to double the level of co-funding and the number of staff exchanges by 2022-2023.

The partnership sealed between AFD and KfW also provides for closer collaboration on several levels, concerning strategy, operations, knowledge-sharing, and joint communication. Both organization will jointly work effectiveness of foreign assistance, the international climate agenda, the environment, and the reinforcement of the European cooperation system. The partnership also considers further cooperation on geographic priorities - Africa and the Sahel in particular - and near neighbours in the Caucasus and Balkans.

Press release - French Development Agency

France Germany Global

France launches Choose Africa, a fund dedicated to African start-ups

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire unveiled the new French 'Choose Africa' initiative, which will provide €2.5 billion to accelerate the growth of start-ups and medium and small enterprises in Africa by 2022. The French development agency, AFD, will implement the initiative, with plans to support around 10,000 companies. 

At the project's launch in Dakar, Le Maire and Senegalese Minister of Economy and Finance Amadou Ba, as well as AFD director Rémy Rioux and Alexandre Pointier, deputy director of Proparco, France's development finance institution, detailed the initiative’s objectives and tools and highlighted its relevance for West African businesses. 

Press release - Choose Africa


French development agency allocates €24 million for NGO projects

The French Development Agency (AFD) has approved grants €24 million in grants for 14 non-governmental organization (NGO) projects. The grants will will mainly support NGOs working with family farming, nutrition in the Sahel region, the protection of biodiversity, and the fight against AIDS, as well as professional training for women and the promotion of freedom of information. Funding has also been granted to programs to support water and sanitation  as well as educating the general public on international development issues. 

French Development Agency - AFD website (in French)


NGOs call on French government to take action to end war in Yemen

On the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the conflict in Yemen and the armed interventions led by Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, 12 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) called France to take action for humanitarian assistance and to end the war. The NGOs, including Action against Hunger, Oxfam France, SomOfUs, and Handicap International, requested France to adopt United Nations (UN) recommendations and stop exporting weapons that could be used in the conflict. They claim that France has a 'special responsibility' to end the war given its current UN Security Council presidency, as well as its leadership of this year's G7.

Website - Action against Hunger France (in French)


French research institutes sign a cooperation framework agreement on environment and sustainable development

French research institutes IRD, CIRAD, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have signed a framework agreement for scientific cooperation during the One Planet Summit held in Nairobi, Kenya. This multidisciplinary agreement concerns major challenges of the global environment and sustainable development.

The research agreement will focus on five areas of cooperation:

  • protecting marine and terrestrial biodiversity;
  • understanding and managing climate risks;
  • acquiring and managing environmental data;
  • studying soil degradation and land restoration programmes;
  • linkages between environment, society, and health.

Press release - International Center on Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD)