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Coalition Plus calls on governments to increase Global Fund contributions

In an op-ed published on Komitid, Coalition Plus, an international network of AIDS NGOs called governments to increase their financial contribution to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria by at least 30%. 

President of Coalition Plus Hakima Himmich highlighted that the Global Fund's financial target for its next replenishment constitutes a 30% increase compared to its last cycle. However, mobilizing US$18 billion for the 2024-2026 period will only cover 14% of the resources needed to fill the gap in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Himmich also thanked the Presidents of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, and Senegal for their personal commitment to a successful replenishment; she additionally called on them to maintain their leadership in the space and advocate to their counterparts for the mobilization of domestic resources that should represent 45% of the needs to tackle the AIDS pandemic during the same period. 

While recognizing the added value of the Global Fund, Himmich also called on the organization to better include vulnerable communities in the definition, coordination, and execution of their funded projects. 

Op-ed: Komitid (in French)

African and European Civil Society Days address AU-EU relationship, CSO participation

Coordination SUD, the French national NGO platform, along with CONCORD and FORUS International organized the African and European Civil Society Days (Journées Sociétés Civiles Africaines et Européennes) from May 6 - 7, 2022, .

This event which took place under the French Presidency of the EU Council's umbrella, and in the follow-up to the sixth African and European Heads of State Summit, gathered 150 representatives from civil society, the agricultural sector, the feminist community, youth and human rights organizations, decision-makers, and academics from the two continents. 

The meetings sought to renew the partnership between the African Union and the European Union in order to refine the role of CSOs.

Press release - Coordination SUD (in French)

Global health labor market in jeopardy; predicted shortage of 18 million health workers in low-income countries by 2030

In a follow-up to G7 discussions, French think tank Santé Mondiale 2030 published a report entitled: 'Human Resources for Health in a Globalized World', which highlights the need for human resources to build resilient health systems.

Agnès Soucat, from the French Development Agency (AFD), Louis Pizarro from UNITAID, and former head of the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Michel Kazatchkine, highlighted the need for the G7 to focus on human resources for health to support universal health coverage (UHC) and reach the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Currently, supply and demand in the health labor market are unbalanced, resulting in challenges to expanding the labor supply and financing and regulating the health labor market. 

According to the authors, the COVID-19 health crisis made the weaknesses of global health systems more visible, demonstrating the extent to which the world is unprepared to face a global pandemic.

The report emphasized that the demand for health workers is rapidly growing; some projections predict a shortage of 18 million health workers in low- and middle-income countries by 2030. The report recommended developing a global human resource for health agenda that is "over and beyond development aid" within the G7 framework, which would providde financial and non-financial incentives to train new health workers, increase development assistance for frontline services, and develop new "North-South" partnerships for health worker training.

Report - Human Resources for Health in a Globalized World

France aligns priorities with Global Fund at HIV/AIDS conference

During the AFRAVIH (French Alliance of Health Actors Against HIV/AIDS, and Chronic and Emerging Viral Infections) conference held in Marseille, several NGOs, think tanks, academics, and government decision-makers discussed the HIV/AIDS pandemic and addressed how to end the pandemic by 2030. 

Françoise Vanni, a representative of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, attended the conference and introduced the organization's investment priorities for the next 3 years, which aim to mobilize at least US$18 billion. Stéphanie Seydoux, the French Ambassador for Global Health, presented France and the Global Fund's shared priorities, which include:

  • partner country ownership at the national and local level; 
  • the promotion of inclusiveness for those living with HIV/AIDS through national coordination mechanisms; and, 
  • the promotion of human rights and the fight against discrimination and criminalization of those with HIV/AIDS.  

The NGO, Aides, part of the Coalition Plus network, organized a protest calling for France to increase its contribution to The Global Fund by 50% for the next replenishment cycle.

News article - Seronet (in French)

France increases its contribution to the Global Environment Fund by 40%

During the 8th replenishment of the Global Environment Fund (GEF), one of the financial instruments of the Paris Climate Agreement, which took place virtually on April 8, 2022, 29 donors committed to allocating US$8.3 billion for the next four years (compared to US$4.1 billion in 2018 when the last replenishment occurred).

France announced a record contribution amounting to US$360 million, a 40% increase compared to its previous commitment.

GEF resources will help low-income countries in their efforts to protect the environment and tackle climate change. 36% of the allocated amount will be used for biodiversity protection.

Press release - French Ministry of Economy and Finance (in French)

Press release - Global Environment Facility

France should rethink development, military, humanitarian policies in Sahel region, say NGOs

NGOs published a manifesto calling for a renewal of France's development and military policies in the Sahel region after a series of conferences organized by NGOs including CARE France, Oxfam France, Secours Catholique, Tournons la Page, and CCFD-Terre Solidaire, along with the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS); the conference included keynotes from government representatives, civil society, and other stakeholders and addressed France's military, diplomatic, humanitarian, and development actions in the Sahel region.

Nine years after the launch of Operation Serval in Mali and ahead of the French presidential elections, due to take place on April 10 and 24, 2022, NGOs called on candidates and French authorities to:

  1. Reinforce the democratic control of external military operations;
  2. Promote better governance based on democratic values and accountability;
  3. Support the protection of human rights and human rights defenders;
  4. Promote international humanitarian law and the fight against impunity;
  5. Intensify France's humanitarian response;
  6. Conduct a transparent, efficient, inclusive, and coherent development financing policy (Countries in the Sahel region only account for 13% of France's bilateral ODA); and, 
  7. Initiate collective memory work on the relations between France and countries in the Sahel region.

Report - CCFD Terre Solidaire

French NGOs assess Macron's global health track record ahead of elections, criticize funding schemes

Ahead of the French presidential elections due to take place on April 10 and 24, 2022, French Health NGOs in the 'Global Health Collective', which includes Doctors of the World, Oxfam France, Global Health Advocates, and Action Against Hunger, assessed French President Macron's global health policies during his five-year term.

NGOs welcomed the planned increase of French development assistance to reach the 0.7% official development assistance (ODA)/ gross national income (GNI) target by 2025 but regretted that France did not commit additional resources to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic when it was most needed.

They also criticized that only 6.6% of French ODA was allocated to global health in 2019 versus 10% in 2014, a small ratio compared to other comparable donors (15.0% for the UK, 18.6% for Canada).

NGOs also welcomed the prioritization of universal health coverage (UHC), health system strengthening, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and maternal and child health in France's development policy and as illustrated in the new development program law adopted in August of 2021.

They acknowledged France's contribution to the Global Fund against Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which increased 20% from the last replenishment cycle, France's contribution to Unitaid, to which France is the largest donor, and Gavi, to which France is the sixth-largest donor.

NGOs reacted positively to France's role in raising awareness on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the poorest countries and in promoting vaccine donations through COVAX but criticized a lack of transparency in the French Development Agency's (AFD) "Health in Common" initiative; financial support for the initiative was mainly composed of loans when grants were the most needed.  

Lastly, NGOs criticized France for not providing its fair-share to the multilateral effort to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic; France contributed just 22% of its 'fair-share' to ACT-A (Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator), the WHO-led initiative. In addition, France failed to support the adoption of a waiver on COVID-19 vaccines at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and did not commit to a technology transfer of mRNA vaccines to the African continent.

Report - Collectif Santé Mondiale

France delivers emergency medical assistance in Ukraine

France pledged €100 million (US$109 million) in humanitarian assistance to support victims of the conflict in Ukraine following Russia's invasion. 

This assistance package was complemented by in-kind support; the package included items to provide shelter for displaced persons and medical supplies. Emergency assistance shipments were provided by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Center and the stockpile of the Interior Ministry’s Civil Security Agency. Humanitarian operations were carried out under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM) framework. 

Additional support through the form of medical assistance will also be provided to Poland to support incoming refugees fleeing Ukraine, according to the communiqué from the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

Press release - French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs

First debate on international issues in French presidential elections to take place in live event

Ahead of the French presidential elections on April 10 and 24 of 2022, candidates' spokespersons are invited to an event on February 27, 2022, to introduce candidate views on international issues and the role of France on the global stage.

The event, organized by three think tanks - Open Diplomacy, Fondation Jean Jaurès, and Institut Montaigne - along with the support of Focus 2030, will be broadcast live on Le Journal du Dimanche's website on February 27 (10:30 am CET).

Registration - Open Diplomacy

Event livestream - Le Journal du Dimanche (in French) 

ONE Vote campaign calls on French presidential candidates to 'turn back the tide' on rising global poverty

ONE France launched the "ONE Vote" campaign ahead of the French Presidential elections due to take place on April 10 and 24, 2022. ONE campaigners and their "Youth Ambassadors" have called on candidates to "turn back the tide," highlighting an increase in global poverty.

ONE addressed its policy recommendations, which focus on three priorities: 

1. Ending the pandemic all over the world, through:

  • dose donations, pharmaceutical company transparency, proportionate funding to ACT-A, support for the local production of health tools, and support for the waiver on intellectual property (IP) rights for vaccines through the World Trade Organization (WTO); 
  • reallocation of 25%, and then, between 75% to 100% of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) attributed to France to African countries; and, 
  • Increased resources allocated to development assistance through an increase in the tax base and the rate of the actual financial transactions tax (FTT).

2. Supporting African countries' recovery, through:

  • Investments in green jobs; 
  • Increasing France's official development assistance (ODA) up to 0.7% of its gross national income (GNI) by 2025;
  • Improving the quality of French assistance with an increased focus on social services and gender equality; and,
  • Canceling Africa's debt. 

3. Ensuring that countries on the African continent are equal partners, through:

  • Combatting illicit financial flows;
  • Preparing for future pandemics and investing in the local production of health tools; and, 
  • Ensuring that African countries participate in all relevant negotiations. 

ONE will follow the responses of candidates on a regular basis through a scorecard tool. 

ONE Vote - ONE Campaign (in French)

France pledges US$57 million to ACT-A's Health Systems and Response Connector

At the Ministerial Conference of Foreign Ministers and EU health ministers in Lyon, France, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs pledged US$57 million to support the work of the WHO Health Systems and Response Connector (HSRC), part of the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), the WHO-led initiative to facilitate equal access to vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics.

This contribution aims to support health systems at national levels to prioritize vaccination campaigns, improve testing approaches, and support clinical interventions.

Press release - French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs

Funding for neglected diseases fell by 4% in 2020, says G-FINDER report

Policy Cures Research published its latest G-FINDER report entitled "Neglected Disease Research and Development: New Perspectives,' on January 27, 2022, which provides a comprehensive analysis of global investment in research and development to address neglected diseases in low-income countries in 2020. 

The report reviews the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and outlines the impact of the crisis on neglected tropical disease funding, which dropped 4% globally from 2019. With a total US$3.9 billion in funding, 2020 sits well above neglected disease funding's long-term average. 

Australia: Australia contributed US$46 million in neglected disease funding in 2020, prioritizing malaria, dengue, bacterial pneumonia & meningitis, hepatitis B and C, rheumatic fever, Buruli ulcer, and scabies. Australia is the third-largest public funder of neglected disease per capita, at US$3.39 per US$100,000 following the United States and United Kingdom. 

Canada: Canada contributed US$12 million to neglected disease funding in 2020, the ninth-largest public funder. 

EU: The European Commission was the third-largest public funder of neglected diseases in 2020; it was the only public funder to increase funding compared to 2019. The US$41 million increase (33%) to US$164 million was largely driven by support for tuberculosis research, which increased by US$23 million. 

France: France contributed US$40 million to neglected disease funding in 2020, the seventh-largest public funder, prioritizing Leptospirosis. 

Germany: Germany contributed US$55 million to public neglected disease funding in 2020, the fifth-largest funder. 

Japan: Japan contributed US$12 million in neglected disease funding in 2020, prioritizing Buruli ulcer and mycetoma, as the tenth-largest public funder.

Netherlands: The Netherlands contributed US$11 million in neglected disease funding in 2020, the eleventh-largest public funder. 

Sweden: Sweden contributed US$11 million in neglected disease funding in 2020, the twelfth-largest public funder. 

United Kingdom: The United Kingdom was the second-largest public contributor to neglected diseases with US$187 million in funding in both absolute and per capita terms. It has remained the second-largest funder for 5 years. It prioritized HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, diarrhoeal disease, kinetoplastid disease, helminth, Salmonella, dengue, bacterial pneumonia and meningitis, cryptococcal meningitis, snakebite envenoming, leprosy, scabies, and mycetoma research. 

United States: The United States remained the largest public funder of neglected diseases by far, following historical trends, with US$1.9 billion in total funding. It remained the top-funder in the neglected disease space in both absolute and per capita terms.

High-income country (HIC) governments provided the vast majority of global funding (63%), followed by the philanthropic sector (21%), industry (12%); the remaining 4% was divided between multilateral organizations and low- and middle-income country governments. 

The philanthropic sector provided US$823 million of funding for neglected diseases, an 3.6% increase from 2019. Top donors include the Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Open Philanthrophy, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Fundació La Caixa, and funds raised from the general public. Wellcome Trust and Open Philanthropy uped their contributions in 2020, making up the bulk of the increase in the philanthropic sector. 95% of all philanthropic funding for neglected diseases in philanthropy comes from the top three funders, Gates, Wellcome, and Open Philanthropy. 

While overall funding decreased minimally, G-FINDER is worried about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises on neglected tropical disease funding in the future. The team expects that widespread focus on the COVID-19 pandemic could take away from resources and attention funders might otherwise have given to neglected diseases. The immediate impact of COVID-19 is most evident, however, in clinical trials. Funding in this sector for neglected diseases fell by US$124 million, or a 10% drop from 2019, and is mainly attributed to difficulties in conducting trials due to lockdowns and travel restrictions. 

Report - Policy Cures Research

Executive Summary - Policy Cures Research

NGOs call on French presidential candidates to make significant changes to France's global health development cooperation

French NGOs in the Global Health Collective (Collectif Santé Mondiale), including Action Santé Mondiale, AIDES, Equipop, Médecins du Monde, the ONE Campaign, Oxfam France, le Planning familial, Sidaction, and Solidarité Sida, published a position paper evaluating French presidential candidates running in the election that will take place in April of 2022.

NGOs urged the candidates to do the following:

  • Increase France's official development assistance (ODA) allocated to global health to 0.1% of gross national income (GNI); 
  • Mobilize innovative financing to fund global public goods; 
  • Increase France's contribution to the Global Fund against Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria; 
  • Guarantee access to health products for all;
  • Sustainably support the strengthening of health systems;
  • Adopt a feminist approach to global health and crisis prevention and response;
  • Adopt legal frameworks guaranteeing the transparency of the drug market in accordance with WHO recommendations;
  • Condition public investments for global health (transparency, accessibility, etc.); and, 
  • Act to build a more inclusive international health governance. 

Paper - Collectif Santé Mondiale (in French)

France should use Presidency of Council of the EU to promote global health leadership, says think tank

France will hold the Presidency of the EU Council from January 1, 2022, until June 30, 2022. Santé Mondiale 2030, a French think-tank, published a policy note outlining the (historically limited) role of the EU in public health policies and urged EU member states and the French Presidency of the Council of the EU to mobilize support from the COVID-19 pandemic to widen the EU's global health mandate and increase its global health governance influence.

Analysts suggest that the EU would be more influential in international development and global public health if member states adopted joint positions on global health issues such as intellectual property rights, transparency of costs, and public subsidies allocated to R&D. The EU could also prepare joint positions within boards of global health organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund, or the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) partnership to make stronger developments in the sector. 

In addition, Santé Mondiale 2030 highlighted three specific areas for the French Presidency of the Council of the EU to address:

  1. Build an overarching and more robust EU strategy for global health while reinitiating the proposal launched during Finland's Presidency in 2021;
  2. Launch a strong European program around three initiatives by France and Germany in 2021: the Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence in Berlin, the World Health Organization (WHO) academy in Lyon, and the Prezode Initiative (Preventing Zoonotic Disease Emergence); and, 
  3. Develop a strong partnership between the EU and the African Union in global health through concrete and funded projects, such as a partnership between the European and African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCs).

Report - Santé Mondiale 2030 (in French)

French Development Agency celebrates 80th anniversary

The French Development Agency (AFD) will host a virtual and physical event celebrating its 80th anniversary on December 2, 2021, which will highlight the agency's history, evolution, and impact.

The event will give the floor to Rémy Rioux, its General Director, African intellectual and academic, Achille Mbembe, Nobel Prize Laureate, Esther Duflo, and additional poets, historians, scientists, philosophers, business owners and activists. 

A dedicated session will showcase emblematic projects of AFD's work from several world regions world.

The event will conclude with the lessons from the first year of the Fund for Innovation in Development (FID), chaired by Esther Duflo, which supports innovations to tackle global poverty.

Event - French Development Agency

France supports new WHO treaty for pandemic prevention, urges revision of International Health Regulations

France indicated its willingness to adopt a new treaty to prevent and respond to future pandemics, following the World Health Organization (WHO) Member States' consensus to launch negotiations for a new legal instrument.

The intended treaty aims to strengthen the WHO’s role in global health governance, improve fair access to response tools (including vaccines, treatments, and diagnostic tests) for combating epidemics, and promote the One Health approach. In addition to supporting the new legal instrument, France also expressed interest in revising International Health Regulations.

France mobilized €1.0 billion (US$1.1 billion) for ACT-A, the WHO-led initiative to fight the COVID-19 pandemic (though only US$335 million have been effectively pledged so far) and has pledged to donate 120 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by mid-2022, which includes its intended 60 million dose pledge for 2021.

Press release - French Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs

France reverses position on WTO COVID-19 intellectual property waiver, triggering criticism, protests

In June of 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron declared that intellectual property (IP) rights should "never be an obstacle to accessing vaccines" for the COVID-19 response; however, France continues to support the EU Commission's position blocking the proposed World Trade Organization (WTO) temporary IP waiver, which would facilitate knowledge transfer for the equitable distribution of vaccine manufacturing and medical tools to address the COVID-19 crisis. 

France's failure to support the proposal led by India and South Africa represents a tacit reversal of the country's previous position.

WTO Member states were supposed to discuss the temporary IP waiver at the 12th Ministerial Conference this week, which was postponed due to rising concern over the newly announced variant, Omicron. 

NGOs, including Doctors of the World, Solthis, AIDES, ONE Campaign, Sidaction, Oxfam France, and Global Health Advocates, have sharply criticized France's hypocrisy in labeling global vaccine access as a public good by pointing out France's reluctance to waive IP protections on COVID-19 vaccines. 

French NGOs called on the government to support the initiative led by India and South Africa at the WTO to waive IP rights for COVID-19 vaccines and supplies and recommended that France publically oppose the European Commission's position on maintaining IP rights, suggesting that failure to waive IP rights benefits pharmaceutical companies rather than global health equity.

The reversal of France's original position and the resulting shortages and inequitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and supplies triggered protests in 10 cities across France on November 30, 2021, organized by the social movement "Brevets sur les vaccins anti-Covid, Stop. Réquisition."

Press release - Global Health Advocates (in French)

News article - Reuters

African Development Bank, French Development Agency sign US$2.3 billion partnership

Directors of the African Development Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD) signed a co-financing partnership worth US$2.3 billion (€2.0 billion) at the Paris Peace Forum held on November 11, 2021, which covers the 2021-2026 period.

The partnership between the two development banks, which started in 2015, will focus on water and sanitation, agriculture, support for the private sector, adaptation to climate change, infrastructure and urban development, governance, human development, and will specifically address fragility in the Sahel region.

According to the joint press release published for the launch of the partnership, the African Development Bank is AFD's fourth-largest financial partner while AFD is the African Development Bank’s largest bilateral financial partner.

Press release - African Development Bank 

4th Paris Peace Forum will address global health governance, COVID-19 pandemic recovery

The fourth edition of the Paris Peace Forum will take place from November 11 - 13, 2021, both in Paris and via virtual attendance, and will address COVID-19 recovery.

The forum will focus on improving the global governance of health, including pandemic preparedness and the One Health approach while considering the effects of the pandemic on civil society spaces and women’s rights. 

The Forum will follow the UN's COP26 climate talks and will feature new initiatives including governance of climate risks. 

Participants will include Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States of America, Melinda French Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Marisol Touraine, Chair of the Executive Board of Unitaid, and Maria Ressa, 2021 Nobel Peace Prize winner, among others. 

Event Website - Paris Peace Forum

France's Macron pledges US$7.0 billion in annual climate finance to support partner countries

At the opening ceremony of COP26, French President, Emmanuel Macron, welcomed the agreement of the G20 to limit global warming to 1.5C degrees and called on governments to make concrete proposals to achieve this goal through the implementation of national strategies.

He called on the largest carbon emitters to make their national plans public by the end of the UN Conference of the Parties, COP26.

Regarding the US$100.0 billion goal to support low- and middle-income countries facing climate change, President Macron announced France will increase its contribution to US$7.0 billion per year, of which one-third will be allocated to climate adaptation.

Macron also recommended that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publish an annual report to better monitor progress and disbursements of the US$100.0 billion target by high-income countries and follow the use of the funds.

Video - French Presidency (in French)