France and India strengthen partnership in sustainable urban development and energy

French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian received his Indian counterpart, Sushma Swaraj, in Paris, in order to advance the implementation of partnership guidelines set during President Emmanuel Macron's visit to India in March 2018. France hopes to increase its economic presence in India, particularly in the field of sustainable urban development and energy. The ministers discussed the operational implementation of the International Solar Alliance, whose founding summit was co-chaired by the French President and the Indian Prime Minister on March 11, 2018. 

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in French)


France launches a new Strategy for Fragility Response

French Secretary of State to the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, has presented the new French Fragility Response Strategy - something that was first announced at the last Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation (CICID) on February 8, 2018. In addition to the French strategy, the French Development Agency (AFD)'s fund for Peace and Resilience (the 'Minka Fund'), and the French version of a World Bank and United Nations report on conflict prevention have also been presented ("Pathways for peace").

These initiatives are part of the French government's focus on international stability and crisis response, seeking to put in place an approach that links diplomacy, security, humanitarian assistance, stabilization, and development. Such is the French vision for the recently created Sahel Alliance. Lemoyne also reiterated the government's commitment to reaching  0.55% ODA/GNI by 2022, of which €500 million will go towards humanitarian, food, and stabilization aid. AFD's Minka Fund will also double its resources, reaching €200 million per year.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs 


France and Canada sign joint action plan for international development

French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have signed a joint action plan for cooperation in international development activities. The action plan determines that both countries will develop joint projects and instate an annual dialogue between both Ministries of Foreign Affairs, as well as the French Development Agency (AFD). They will also pursue common positions within multilateral organizations and meetings, such as the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Francophonie, the G7, and the G20.

The plan prioritizes the following issues: climate change, education (with a focus on girls' education and in crisis contexts), innovation (in projects and financing mechanisms), and gender equality, including women's economic empowerment, peace and security, nutrition, and sexual and reproductive health and rights, noting that France will host the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria replenishment conference in 2019. 

Action plan - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in French)

Coordination SUD welcomes OECD DAC peer review of French ODA

French NGO umbrella organization Coordination SUD welcomed the newest peer review of French official development assistance (ODA) issued by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), saying it largely echoes the recommendations of NGOs. The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) applauded France's commitment to increasing ODA and particularly its multilateral priorities of climate and health. They noted in particular that NGO action and value-added are recognized at the highest level of government, although assistance to NGOs remains low. The review also flagged issues related to security and migration-tied development assistance, as well as a low level of gender-equality related funding.

Press release - Coordination SUD (in French)

France Global

NGOs criticize ODA used for migration management

Jérôme Duval from the Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debts (CADTM) criticized in an op-ed the use of official development assistance (ODA) for migration-control policies. The amounts diverted from its original objective of fighting poverty in so-called 'developing' countries - now directed towards migration related spending in donor countries - increased by 28% between 2015 and 2016, reaching US$15.4 billion. That is more than 10% of total ODA in 2016, compared to only 2% in 2008. According to Duval, this funding approach is ineffective, and demonstrate a prioritization of European interests above African ones.

Op-ed - Basta ! Magazine (in French)

EU France

140 international personalities alert world leaders about women's rights in the poorest countries

In an open letter, 140 personalities from around the world, including Juliette Binoche, Emilia Clarke, Oprah Winfrey, Déborah François, the founders of the Times' Up movement, Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, Amy Poehler, and Meryl Streep call on politicians around the world to commit to gender equality in the poorest countries. This issue will be on the agenda of the G7 Summit to be held in Canada June 8-9, 2018. The letter calls this an opportunity for leaders of the seven most industrialized countries to move forward on the issue and is part of the mobilization of more than 220,000 citizens around the world who are supporting the ONE Campaign's movement "Poverty is sexist". They call on world leaders to seize multiple national and international political opportunities to take concrete action to address gender inequalities in developing countries.

Press release - One Campaign (in French)

France Global

France and Niger increase cooperation and launch €10 million bilateral project on SRHR and education

French President Emmanuel Macron and Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou discussed the longstanding partnership between the two countries, highlighting the dialogue and joint work up to date. Both leaders deliberated on Libya, migration, and the situation in the Sahel, with Macron noting that France is committed to helping the G5 Sahel Joint Forces have adequate structures and funding. He also signed a bilateral agreement to start a €10 million (US$11 million) project on improving sexual and reproductive health and keeping young girls in school. Moreover, Macron declared that more than 20% of the projects committed within the Sahel Alliance will directly concern Niger - €1.7 billion (US$1.9 billion) out of a total of €7.5 billion (US$8.3 billion).

Press conference - Elysée (in French)

France Global health

French President Macron speaks at OECD Ministerial Council Meeting

French President Emmanuel Macron and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)'s Secretary-General Angel Gurría opened the OECD’s annual Ministerial Council Meeting with a call for countries to increase multilateral cooperation in order to effectively addresses today’s global challenges. Macron's defense of multilateralism was based on the following aspects: 1) Trade, with the WTO providing a framework which he argued should be preserved but reformed; 2) Tax, arguing major digital/tech players contribute to the financing of global public goods; 3) Fighting against money laundering and corruption, which undermine resources and erode democracies; 4) The environment, calling for the adoption of multilateral accords (Paris Agreement) and France bringing to the UN a project for a Global Compact on the Environment; and 5) Development, focusing on the need to increase Official Development Assistance (ODA) and mentioning France’s commitment to reaching 0.55% ODA/GNI.

He focused on two fundamental development issues: education and health. Macron noted that France will bring this focus on development and fighting inequalities to the OECD, the G20, and the G7, including as part of its presidency next year.

Speech - Elysée (in French)




Action Against Hunger analyzes ODA in Sahel region

French NGO Action Against Hunger published the policy paper entitled 'The Sahel - for a new approach to development', which analyzes French official development assistance (ODA) in the region. The paper notes that no Sahelian states are among the top 10 recipients of French ODA, despite a critical need. It highlights opportunities for increased donor cooperation in the region and improved monitoring and evaluation frameworks. 

Policy paper - Action Against Hunger (in French)

Ferdi releases brief on innovative financing

French think tank Ferdi published the brief "What's new in Innovative Financing?", taking stock of the main innovative mechanisms for financing development. The brief is based on a short review of academic literature and discussions that took place during a workshop on the subject, organized by Ferdi, Iddri, the French Ministry of Finance, and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March 20, 2018. There is a need for financing the activities that will contribute to the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Given that Official Development Assistance (ODA) falls far short of meeting these requirements, the core issue is identifying other mechanisms that can help channel the major resources available worldwide into financing these goals. 

Policy brief - Ferdi