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France will reach 0.7% GNI to ODA target by 2025, according to new development bill

After substantive debates on both parliamentary chambers and following a commitment made by President Macron at the early stage of its mandate, France adopted a new program and orientation bill on solidarity development and the fight against global inequalities.

According to the law, France will aim to allocate 0.7% of its gross national income (GNI) to official development assistance (ODA) by 2025, with the envisioned trajectory of 0.52% in 2021, 0.56% in 2022, 0.61% in 2023, 0.66% in 2024. This would result in an additional 6.3 billion (US$7.6 billion) allocated to development assistance in 2025, compared to current 2021 volumes.

At least 70% of France’s ODA (excluding debt relief and loans to international financial institutions) would consist of grants, and 65% of ODA will be channeled bilaterally.

Geographical priorities have also been set by the new law; by 2025, 25% of ODA will be allocated to 19 priority countries, mainly located in sub-Saharan Africa, meaning the regions of Eastern, Western Central, and Southern Africa, as designated by the African Union. 75% of ODA (and 85% of French Development Agency’s activities) will be directed to the African continent and the Mediterranean region, and 50% of ODA to the 19 priority countries.

The bill sets three objectives to France’s ODA:

  1. The fight against poverty, malnutrition and global inequalities, and the promotion of education and health;
  2. The promotion of human rights, in particular children’s, of the rule of law and democracy, and Francophonie; and
  3. The protection of global public goods.

In addition, gender equality has become a crosscutting objective of French development policy. By 2025, 75% of bilateral ODA will have gender equality as one of many significant objectives, and 20% of projects will have gender as their principal objective.

The law also plans to modernize France's development policy through the introduction of new mechanisms such as:

  • An ODA evaluation independent committee;
  • An annual Parliamentary review of ODA’s effectiveness and coherence, and of citizen’s perceptions of ODA;
  • An open database on bilateral and multilateral ODA; and
  • The launch of a Fund for Innovation in Development headed by Nobel Prize Laureate Ester Duflo/

Funding bill - National Assembly (in French)

News article - Focus 2030 (in French)

Team Europe to support Senegal in building vaccine manufacturing facility for COVID-19 and other diseases

The European Commission (EC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a grant agreement with Senegalese President Macky Sall to provide support in building a manufacturing facility for vaccines, including for COVID-19, in Senegal.

This project is a part of the new ‘Team Europe’ (EC, EIB, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and EU member states) initiative, which aims to help African nations manufacture vaccines, medicines, and health technologies and reduce their dependence on imports for these products for health and pandemic response and help boost their economies.

Financing and technical assistance will be provided by the EC, the EIB, Germany, France, and Belgium, as well as other non-European partners such as the US and the World Bank Group. 

Press release - European Commission

Press release - European Investment Bank

Generation Equality Forum concludes with major financial and political commitments for gender equality

The Generation Equality Forum (GEF), the UN Women-convened summit to accelerate gender equality investment, kicked off in Mexico City on March 29-31, 2021, and culminated in Paris on June 30-July 2. The Forum brought together high-level stakeholders including heads of government, corporations, and NGOs to accelerate major financial and political commitments to achieving gender equality by 2026. 

Country donors announced the following commitments:

  • Canada committed CA$180 million (US$146 million) to address the root causes of gender inequality around the world, including unpaid and paid care work in low- and middle-income countries. Canada also announced that it will commit CA$100 million (US$81 million) in new funding for stand-alone international assistance directed to inequality in unpaid and paid care work;
  • The EU committed at least €4.0 billion (US$4.9 billion) in the EU’s 2021-2027 long-term budget to be specifically dedicated to women’s and girls’ rights and empowerment. The EU also pledged to propose new legislation by the end of 2021 to combat violence against women and hate crimes against LGBTQI+ people, as well as adding all forms of hate crimes to the list of crimes in the EU treaties;
  • France committed an additional €100 million (US$122 million) in this sector for the next five years. It also announced that €250 million (US$304 million) will be mobilized by the French Development Agency (AFD) through the bilateral channel for sexual reproductive and health rights (SRHR);
  • Germany increased its commitment to women's economic empowerment initiatives by €140 million (US$166 million), bringing Germany's total commitment to the GEF to US$285 million (€240 million). US$30 million (€25 million) of that will go to the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative;
  • The Netherlands pledged US$620 million to feminist organizations and movements, including supporting the Action Coalition on economic justice, the Action Coalition on bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the Action Coalition on climate justice;
  • Sweden pledged to support the implementation of the Common Agenda for Comprehensive Abortion Care and increase resources and support for existing funding mechanisms through the Action Coalition on feminist movements and leadership;
  • The UK recommitted to providing £68 million (US$91 million) to support its seven-year-long Violence Against Women and Girls Prevention program; and
  • The US pledged US$175 million to support programs against gender-based violence and to mobilize US$12.0 billion through 2025 in investments by the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) in businesses that advance gender equity in emerging markets through the 2X Women's Initiative.

Newsletter - Donor Tracker

News article - Forbes

News article - UN News

At Generation Equality Forum, France pledges US$122 million to sexual and reproductive health and rights

At the Paris-held Generation Equality Forum, the UN Women-convened summit to accelerate gender equality investment, France committed €100 million (US$122 million) in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for the next five years, including:

  • €90 million (US$109 million) for United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) supplies;
  • €5 million (US$6 million) for Shaping Equitable Market Access for Reproductive Health (SEMA) coordinated by 'Amref Health Africa'; and
  • €5 million (US$6 million) for the Global Partnership Forum on Comprehensive Sexuality Education, an initiative co-led by UNFPA and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

France also announced that €250 million (US$304 million) will be mobilized by the French Development Agency through the bilateral channel for SRHR, and the French Muskoka Fund, supporting maternal and child health in West Africa, will be given €50 million (US$61 million) from 2022-2026.

These commitments came in addition to France's pledge to the Global Partnership for Education totaling €333 million (US$450 million), half of which will support access to education for girls and equality in education.

France was co-host of the Forum along with Mexico, as well as a leader of the Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.

Press release - French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in French)

Generation Equality Forum for gender equality kicks off in Paris

Between June 30-July 2, 2021, Paris will host the final segment of the Generation Equality Forum, an international gathering co-hosted by France and Mexico and backed by UN Women, mobilizing governments, international organizations, foundations, companies, civil society organizations, and youth movements to tackle gender inequality.

The Forum this year is taking place 26 years after the Beijing Conference on women and it is organized around the following six Action Coalitions, or partnerships based on thematic focuses:

  1. Gender-based violence;
  2. Economic justice and rights;
  3. Bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR);
  4. Feminist action for climate justice;
  5. Technology and innovation for gender equality; and
  6. Feminist movements and leadership.

In addition, a 'Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action' will work to drive action and resources toward these themes.

Each Action Coalition will adopt a targeted set of concrete actions for 2021-2026 to have positive impacts on gender equality and girls’ and women’s human rights, including through financial commitments.

The results of these Action Coalitions will be summarized through a 'Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality', including commitments made by Action Coalition leaders and Commitment Makers.

Registration is open until the end of the Forum.

Program agenda - Generation Equality Forum

With G7 nations, Japan sets goal to raise US$15 billion deliver financial services to women

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) set a goal to raise US$15.0 billion to deliver finical services to women as part of the 'G7 2X Challenge: Financing for Women' (2X Challenge).

The 2X Challenge was founded by development finance institutions of the G7 nations for women’s economic empowerment. The COVID-19 crisis has worsened the situation for women in emerging economies, and research shows that US$1.00 trillion could be lost from global growth if female workers hit hard by the pandemic do not return to the workforce. Therefore, with G7 nations, Japan and development finance institutions announced the goal of raising an additional US$15.0 billion by the end of 2022.

Press release – Japan International Cooperation Agency

French NGOs ask French government to double funding to SRHR ahead of Generation Equality Forum

On June 18, 2021, eleven French civil society organizations published a joint call to action to urge French President Emmanuel Macron to double France’s funding for sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) ahead of the Generation Equality Forum for gender equality to take place in Paris June 30-July 2, 2021.

The organizations stated that in light of recent lost progress on guaranteeing equal rights and the magnitude of the financial needs to achieve the SRHR 2030 targets, France must play a leading role in closing the international funding gap and in limiting the negative impacts of the UK's recent development budget cuts.

According to the French NGOs, the additional investment required worldwide each year to enable a comprehensive SRHR package in low- and middle-income countries is estimated at US$31.0 billion. In 2019, France spent €97 million (US$115 million), or less than 1% of its official development assistance (ODA), on SRHR. Its bilateral assistance was nearly 11 times less than that of the UK and nearly 5 times less than that of the Netherlands.

The French NGOs expect France to commit to doubling its current international assistance to €200 million (US$238 million) per year for SRHR during 2021-2026.

They also note that initiatives to strengthen access to sexual and reproductive health services for women and girls exist, with stakeholders ready to commit, notably through the Global Financing Facility (GFF), the Muskoka Fund, and UNFPA Supplies (United Nations Population Fund).

Press release - Global Health Advocates (in French)

At G7 Summit, Canada announces new support to low-income countries for COVID-19 vaccines, climate finance, and education

At the 47th G7 Summit from June 11-13, 2021, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new financial and resource support to address inequitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, respond to the climate emergency, and support education in low-income countries.  

The resource and financial pledges included:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Sharing: Canada pledged 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to be shared as part of the G7 leaders’ new collective commitment to sharing more than two billion doses to the global vaccine effort. Canada is also donating 13 million doses of the vaccine through COVAX, the global vaccine initiative. The vaccine sharing is in addition to Canada’s previous contributions of CA$2.5 billion (US$2.0 billion) in international assistance to the COVID-19 crisis and CA$1.3 billion (US$1.0 billion) contribution to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A). 
  • International Climate Finance: Canada pledged a doubling of Canada’s previous international climate finance to CA$5.3 billion (US$4.2 billion) over five years—up from CA$2.7 billion (US$2.1 billion) over five years in 2015—which includes increased support for adaptation and biodiversity to support low-income countries in cutting pollution and building climate resilience. Canada also increased its grant contribution of climate financing from 30% to 40%. These new commitments are a result of the G7 leaders’ collective commitment to increase their 2030 targets to cut the G7’s collective emissions by around half compared to 2010.
  • Support for Global Partnership for Education: Canada pledged CA$300 million (US$240 million) over five years to the Global Partnership for Education. This funding will specifically support girls’ education and help strengthen education systems in low-income countries. 

Press release - Prime Minister of Canada

Press release - Prime Minister of Canada

France pledges to share 60 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, supports temporary waiver of intellectual property rights

During the G7 Summit hosted by the UK Presidency on June 11-13, 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron made a statement indicating that France:

  • Pledges to double its previous commitments and will share 60 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, 5% of which will go to the African Union, with the aim to vaccinate 40% of the world population by the end of 2021;
  • Supports the temporary waiver of intellectual property rights and the elimination of export bans to increase technology transfers and vaccines production;
  • Calls on pharmaceutical companies to share 10% of manufactured doses, as well as to be transparent about the prices applied to COVAX, the global vaccine initiative; and
  • Supports the reform of the World Health Organization to support an early warning system to prevent future pandemics and invest in research and health system strengthening.

Transcript - French Presidency (in French)

G7 leaders agree to provide one billion vaccine doses to low-income countries; critics say this is far from enough

The leaders attending the UK-hosted G7 Summit on June 11-13, 2021, agreed to provide one billion vaccine doses to low-income countries, with the UK committing to provide 100 million.

The communique commits to sharing at least 870 million doses directly over the next year, but it is not clear whether this is related to surplus doses only.

While the move is welcome, it has been widely criticized by civil society groups and UK opposition parties as falling far short of the mark, as the World Health Organization has estimated that 11 billion doses are needed to end the pandemic. Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, from the UK Labour Party, stated that the Summit was an "unforgivable moral failure". 

News article - Devex

Oxfam France launches campaign for feminist recovery plan

Ahead of the final segment of the Generation Equality Forum co-organized by UN Women, France and Mexico to be held in Paris between June 28 and July 2, 2021, Oxfam France launched a campaign and a petition asking French Government to:

  • Address the unequal division of domestic work between men and women including parental leave and childcare services;
  • Better value female-dominated professions, promote women's access to  management positions, and make public grants conditional on gender equality;
  • Implement feminist recovery plans, by evaluating the impact of public policies on the reduction of gender inequalities; and
  • Increase official development assistance in favor of gender equality and for feminist organizations in low-income countries.

Petition - Oxfam France (in French)

UK Prime Minister calls on G7 leaders to vaccinate the world by end of 2022

The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has called for his fellow G7 leaders to commit to ambitious target of vaccinating the world by the end of 2022 at the forthcoming G7 Leaders Summit on June 11-13, 2021 in Cornwall, UK.

Johnson highlighted that in order to achieve this, G7 leaders must commit to stepping up the manufacturing of vaccines, lowering the barriers to distribution especially around costs, and sharing more surplus doses with low-income countries bilaterally and via COVAX.

The UK government is the largest donor to the COVAX initiative and will later this week announce how many surplus vaccines it will share with low-income countries.

The Prime Minister will also call at the G7 Leaders’ Summit for G7 countries to support the new Global Pandemic Radar – a global surveillance system aimed at ensuring early identification of new vaccine-resistant variants to help ensure the efficacy of vaccination programs.

Press release - UK government

 

Canada and G7 leaders must cut carbon emissions more quickly and increase climate finance, says Oxfam Canada

In advance of the 47th G7 Summit commencing on June 11, 2021, Oxfam Canada is calling on Canada and other G7 leaders to take drastic action to cut carbon emissions more quickly and increase climate finance to low-income countries.

Without more ambitious climate action, Oxfam Canada projects that Canada’s economy could shrink by 6.9% annually by 2050, while across G7 nations, climate change could cause economies to contract by an average of 8.5% annually by 2050. The human and economic impact of climate change will likely be even greater for low-income countries.

The G7 is collectively falling short on its longstanding pledge to provide US$100 billion per year to help low-income countries respond to the climate crisis. Oxfam estimates that the G7’s current commitment amounts to only US$36 billion in public climate finance by 2025. 

Canada has yet to announce an increase in its climate finance commitments, and achieving Canada’s fair share would require doubling its current climate finance pledge. As a result, Oxfam Canada is calling on Canada and its G7 partners to make this year a turning point for action against climate change by increasing climate finance.

Op-ed - Oxfam Canada

G7 Health Ministers agree to clinical trials charter, strengthened approach to ONE Health, new incentives for antibiotics creation

The UK-hosted G7 Health Ministers meeting, held in Oxford on June 3-4, 2021, agreed to a set of new measures aimed at curbing future pandemics and tackling antimicrobial resistance.

The G7 health ministers agreed amongst other things to:

  • A new charter that will make it easier to share comparable and high-quality data from vaccine and therapeutic trials to assist with tackling COVID-19 and future pandemics. The charter will also enable more large-scale international trials allowing for drugs to be tested on a more diverse set of participants and it will help to avoid duplication of efforts.
  • Strengthen efforts to work together on One Health intelligence through the production of an interim report at the end of 2021 outlining how the WHO, FAO, OIE, and UNEP can work together to deliver a comprehensive set of data on emerging threats to human, animal, plant and environmental health. 
  • Establish principles to incentivize the creation of, greater access to, and the good governance of new antibiotics in response to the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.   

The G7 Health Ministers also took the opportunity to take stock of the progress that the G7 countries have made on meeting existing global health commitments. A report produced by the hosts of the G7 called the Carbis Bay Progress report showed that G7 countries have:

  • Worked with organizations and partners to strengthen health systems, with financing for general health rising from 38% in 2015 to 47% in 2019;
  • Funded partners to do more noting for example in the case of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance that its health system strengthening funding grew from 21% of total spend in 2016 to 31% in 2019;
  • Supported 74 countries to strengthen the International Health Regulations which are rules for identifying a disease outbreak and stopping it from spreading; and
  • Provided support for health workers.

Finally, the UK-hosted G7 Vaccine Confidence Summit resulted in an agreement to pursue a new global campaign to build confidence in vaccines. The campaign will be taken forward by the G7 Vaccine Confidence Working Group which the UK chairs and will encourage engagement of government, NGOs, academia, and the private sector to mobilize their partners.

Press release - UK government on G7 Health Ministers Meeting

Press release - G7 Global Vaccine Confidence Summit

Communique - G7 Health Ministers’ Statement 

Report - Carbis Bay Progress Report

Oxfam Canada criticizes Canada and G7 partners on vaccine monopolies, insufficient COVID-19 response in developing countries 

Ahead of the G7 Leaders’ Summit from June 11-13, 2021, the People’s Vaccine Alliance and Oxfam Canada are calling on the G7 to take urgent action to close the vaccine gap between G7 states and poorer countries. 

While the G7 agreed last February to increase the global vaccine supply, they have failed to collectively back the waiver of intellectual property rules in manufacturing vaccines in low-income countries. As a result, the Alliance, Health Justice Initiative, Oxfam, and UNAIDS project that, while everyone living in G7 nations should be fully vaccinated by January 8, 2022, it would take low-income countries 57 years to reach the same rate of vaccination at the current rate. 

While some G7 leaders claim they have sufficiently supported low-income nations through funding to COVAX to support vaccine access, Oxfam Canada argued that the initiative is failing, having delivered less than a third of the doses it promised by the end of May. The Alliance warned that at the current rate, COVAX is likely to reach only 10% of people in low-income countries by the end of 2021.

Among the G7 states, only the US has backed the proposal at the World Trade Organization to waive intellectual property rights, while the UK and Germany opposed it, and Canada, France, and Japan are undecided. Rather than relying solely on the COVAX initiative to support low-income countries, Oxfam Canada is calling on G7 leaders to fully support the vaccine patent waiver supported by more than 100 countries to end  pharmaceutical monopolies.

Op-ed - Oxfam Canada

At Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment Summit, France pledges US$119 for vaccine purchase

During the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment Summit co-organized by Japan and Gavi on June 2, 2021, France's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, reiterated France's promise to donate 30 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the COVAX facility by the end of the year.

As part of the500 million (US$598 million) pledged to ACT-A (the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator) by President Macron at the Global Health Summit on May 21, France will double its financial contribution to COVAX with an additional 100 million (US$119 million) for the purchase of vaccines for low-and middle-income countries.

Lemoyne pointed out the need to maximize impact through regular monitoring of vaccination programs by establishing a performance review and the need to develop production through partnerships and technology transfers, including in Africa, to increase global production of vaccines with the joint collaboration of the World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization.

Video - Gavi 

Chair of G7 Pandemic Preparedness Partnership calls for key measures to ensure rapid global response to future pandemics

The chair of the UK-created G7 Pandemic Preparedness Partnership (PPP), Sir Patrick Vallance, has called for key building blocks to be put in place to ensure a more rapid global response to future pandemics. The PPP is a public-private partnership established by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson which will report to the G7 Summit on improving global pandemic responses.

Vallance noted that the relative speed of getting a vaccine for COVID-19 was due to years of prior research into coronaviruses. He argued that the global community must learn from this and build its arsenal to be better prepared for future pandemics by:

  • Building clinical trials infrastructure across the globe;
  • Establishing a manufacturing network around the globe and ensuring easier technology transfer across the network;
  • Investing in research and development of prototype vaccines and medicines against the WHO priority pathogen list at a minimum;
  • Agreeing on new protocols on data-sharing, supply-chain movements, funding processes for R&D, and procurement or technology transfer to ensure the system functions smoothly;
  • Strengthening regulation for rapid diagnostic tests with a focus on quality and use;
  • Strengthening healthcare and public health systems and ensuring a world-class surveillance system is in place; and,
  • Investing in new technologies – like the investments made in mRNA and new modes of working to enable rapid scale-up during emergencies.

The PPP has been tasked with the target of 100 days for establishing effective, safe, and high-quality diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines produced at scale for equitable distribution. Vallance notes that the target is ambitious but it is worth aiming for and success should be measured against our progress towards achieving it.

News article - Financial Times

Germany and France to share 30 million COVID-19 vaccine doses each

After the meeting of the Franco-German Council of Ministers in Berlin on May 31, 2021, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany and France will each share 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines with low- and middle-income countries before the end of 2021. Merkel emphasized the access for African countries to vaccines as pivotal for the realization of global equity.  

African countries have already drawn attention to their acute shortage of COVID-19 vaccines; the shortage has partly been caused by India stopping its vaccine exports due to their deteriorating public health situation. Infection rates inter alia in Algeria and Angola are also currently rising.

News article – Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (in German)

UK will use G7 Presidency to push for more coordinated clinical vaccine and drug trials

It is being reported that the UK government will use its G7 Presidency to push for a shared set of principles for governing clinical trials for future vaccines and drugs across G7 economies.

The UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, is likely to pursue agreement among G7 members for the set of shared principles, following the recent experience of "chaotic" and fragmented clinical trial data for COVID-19 vaccines which made it difficult to compare trial data undertaken in differing countries for differing candidates. 

G7 Health Ministers will meet on June 3-4, 2021, in Oxford, UK, and it is hoped that a broad agreement on key principles of trial standards will be reached. The more technical details of the principles will be finalized by a range of different stakeholders, including academic as well as multilateral organizations such as the World Health Organization.

News article - The Telegraph

France advocates for stronger WHO at World Health Assembly

At the 74th World Health General Assembly organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), French President Emmanuel Macron made a public statement in which he advocated for a strengthened WHO both in its usual and pandemic preparedness roles.

Macron also supported more sustainable and predictable funding for the organization to be less dependent on few large donors.

France will take part in a peer-reviewed pilot phase of the Member States’ preparedness for pandemics, while recognizing the need for the WHO to be allowed to intervene as soon as the first signs of a pandemic appear, notably through rapid response missions.

France supports the WHO focusing its efforts around a 'One Health Approach', which considers the links between human, environmental, and animal health to help address and prevent the emergence of zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19.

He indicated that France is committed to investing more than €120 million (US$177 million) in the World Health Academy, an initiative co-led with the WHO to train public leaders, business leaders, and civil society representatives on global health issues. The Academy, launched in 2019, will start through a digital platform as soon as this summer and will officially open in Lyon in 2023.

Transcript - French Presidency