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France announces US$30 million fund to support democracy on African continent at New Africa-France Summit

France organized the "New Africa-France summit" in the southern French city of Montpellier on October 8, 2021, which included 5,000 participants from the African continent and France for a one-day summit.

For the first time ever, the summit did not convene African heads of state but rather civil society actors, such as academics, activists, NGOs, startups, and sportspersons.

French President Emmanuel Macron discussed current issues shared by France and the African continent, which included controversial topics such as French military interventions in the Sahel region, support to dictatorships, and the end of the West African CFA franc. 

France announced the creation of a fund to support democracy, which has been allocated €30 million (USD$35 million) for the next three years.

Press release - French presidential website (in French)

UK reports on achievements of 2011-2021 international climate finance investments; commits US$15.6 billion for next five years

The UK's recently released Corporate Report, '2021 UK Climate Finance Results' provides an overview of achievements from the UK's portfolio of International Climate Finance (ICF) investments between April 2011 and March 2021. According to the report, during this period the UK provided £9.6 billion (US$12.9 billion) in official development assistance (ODA) focused on helping low- and lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) to:

  • Adapt to the current and future effects of climate change; 
  • Follow low-carbon economic growth; 
  • Assist with sustainable management of natural resources; 
  • Improve access to clean energy; and, 
  • Reduce deforestation.

The report estimates that the UK's ICF programs have:

  • Provided direct support to 88 million people to help them with the impacts of climate change; 
  • Improved 41 million individuals’ access to clean energy; 
  • Helped to reduce or avoid 180 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions; and, 
  • Mobilized £5.2 billion (US$7.2 billion) in public and £3.3 billion (US$4.6 billion) in private finance for climate change purposes in low- and lower-middle-income countries (LMICs).

The UK has committed to increasing its ICF to £11.6 billion (US$15.6 billion) between April 2021 and March 2026 — a doubling compared to its previous five-year commitment. 

Report - 2021 International Climate Finance Results

France doubles COVID-19 vaccine commitment; redirects 20% of Special Drawing Rights to African Continent

In a pre-recorded video message made public during the Global Citizen live concert held simultaneously in Paris, Lagos, New York City, and other cities, French President, Emmanuel Macron, announced:

  1. France will double its COVID-19 vaccine sharing pledge, providing an additional 60 million doses to COVAX, the World Health Organization's (WHO) vaccine initiative, for a total of 120 million doses by the end of Q2, 2022; and
  2. France will redirect 20% of its Special Drawing Rights from the IMF to the African continent - a move France recommends G20 countries replicate - which will help mobilize US$100.0 billion. 

Tweet - French President Video message 

Impact report - Global Citizen

Global Citizen to host 24-hour worldwide concert to prompt pledges toward SDGs

On September 25, Global Citizen will broadcast a 24-hour global event on TV and multiple social networks, which will feature artists, celebrities, and world leaders focusing on defending the planet and defeating poverty.

Global Citizen Live aims to support a "Recovery Plan for the World," targeting five key sectors: COVID-19 global response, hunger, education, climate change, and equity. The event will provide a platform for decision-makers to make new pledges, which contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The event will feature performances from different cities around the globe including Lagos, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul, and Sydney. Artists such as Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Måneskin, DJ Snake, H.E.R., Lizzo, Christine and the Queens, Angélique Kidjo, Charlie Puth, and Fatma Said will participate.

Website - Global Citizen

Sweden takes first place in Center for Global Development's ranking of high-income countries' committment to development

The Center for Global Development, an independent thinktank, published their Commitment to Development Index, (CDI) which measures development policy engagement in 40 major economies. The report consolidates key findings in development finance, investment, migration, trade, environment, health, security, and technology.

The CDI, rooted in "genuine policy effort" relative to country size, added health as a new component this year, taking into account pandemic preparedness as well as other health issues like pollutant concentration and prevention of medication resistance. 

Key findings included:

  • Sweden ranked first in overall development efforts, with top spots in both environmental and migration policies;
  • The UK slipped back to fifth place overall, suggesting a general decline in its development superpower status;
  • China ranked 36th and struggled with migration, security, and a lack of transparency;
  • The US dropped from 18th to 22nd in overall development commitments, indicating fallout from Trump-era policies;
  • France ranked second overall, the highest of the G7 countries;
  • Norway placed third overall with strong performances in development finance and migration; and
  • Australia moved up to fourth place following the introduction of health measurement indicators.

The CDI celebrated successful development policies and made recommendations for improvement for each of the countries it evaluated.

Commitment to Development Index - Center for Global Development

France allocates US$118 million dollars in emergency assistance to Afghanistan

France pledged €100 million (US$118 million) in emergency assistance at the High-level Ministerial Meeting on the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan on September 13, 2021.

The meeting, convened by United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, sought to mobilize US$600 million in urgent funding support for Afghanistan from international partners.

French Minister of Foreign affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, represented France at the meeting.

News article - Radio France international

France hosts UICN World Conversation Congress

France hosted the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress in Marseille from September 3-11, 2021.

The meeting, delayed in 2020 by the pandemic, precedes the UN summits on climate, COP26, and food systems, COP15. The conference provided the opportunity to take stock of the initiatives launched at the One Planet Summit in January 2021 in Paris, dedicated to biodiversity (especially the Great Green Wall and “The Mediterranean: A Model Sea by 2030” initiatives). It also prepared for the COP15 Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China, which was postponed until 2022.

The conference focused on wildlife protection, habitat destruction, unsustainable agriculture, mining, and climate change, and mobilized heads of state, bilateral agencies, international organizations, private companies, and civil society organizations.

French President, Emmanuel Macron, announced that France will host a new edition of the One Planet Summit in the forthcoming months in order to prioritize nature internationally. The summit will build a foundation for a global biodiversity strategy, which includes the urgent need to phase out pesticide use, end plastic pollution, and eradicate the use of raw materials linked to deforestation of rainforests. He also emphasized that France will advocate for Earth’s polar regions to be recognized as common global assets.

Program: World Conservation Congress website

Opening ceremony: French Presidency (in French)

G7 leaders support UN-led international humanitarian response in Afghanistan, call on Taliban government to uphold international human rights

The UK, as President of the G7 in 2021, hosted a virtual leaders’ meeting of the G7 on August 24 to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan. 

The leaders, delivering a statement from the meeting, called for a cessation of all violence, and agreed to support an UN-led international humanitarian response. The G7 leaders also called upon the new Taliban-led government to uphold international human rights particularly for women and girls and uphold international humanitarian law.

The UN has estimated that 18 million people are now in need of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan following the collapse of the government and the Taliban takeover, as US and UK troops withdrew from the country. The UN has also warned that the violence in Afghanistan must stop, noting that if current trends continue, Afghanistan could record the highest-ever number of documented civilian casualties, since the UN’s began collecting annual data on these figures.  

The UK has agreed to increase its official development assistance (ODA) to Afghanistan to £286 million (US$384 million) and has committed to receiving 20,000 Afghan refugees over the next five years. It also has an Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) which was launched on April 1, 2021 and will remain in place until November 2022, that offers any current or former locally employed staff working for the UK government in Afghanistan (that is assessed to be under serious threat to life) to be offered relocation to the UK.

G7 Leaders' statement - G7

News article - BOND

France donates 10 million COVID-19 vaccines to African Union through COVAX

African Union member states will receive 10 million additional doses of the AstraZeneca and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines over the next three months thanks to a new partnership between the French government and the African Union.

Vaccines donated by France (AstraZeneca and Pfizer) will be allocated and distributed through the African Union’s African Vaccine Acquisition Trust initiative (AVAT) and COVAX, to allow the transfer of RNA vaccine technology on the African continent, and to support the production of vaccines in South Africa.

This donation is part of a pledge made by France to donate 60 million vaccines in the framework of the G7 under its UK presidency and was acknowledged by President of South Africa, Cyril Rampaphosa, as a valuable contrition to the continent's effort to tackle the pandemic.

Press release - French Presidency (in French)

Africa-France Summit will be held in Montpellier in October 2021 to renew partnerships models

The French city of Montpellier will host the "New Africa-France Summit" from October 7-9, 2021, an event previously planned to take place in Bordeaux in June of 2020.

This annual event, which has mobilized African and French heads of States since 1973, aims to discuss a series of issues with a focus on the role of civil society actors (including intellectuals and youth activists) to renew the often contested France-Africa relationships.

The debates organized around this summit will notably focus on: 

  • Access to school and higher education;
  • Support for entrepreneurship and innovation;
  • Climate transition; and
  • Renewing development cooperation to encourage partnerships.

In the run-up to the summit and under the supervision of a committee of recognized, independent African figures, dialogues involving civil society actors and the diasporas from 12 countries will discuss the following issues, according to organizers:

  • Gender equality;
  • Official development assistance and its impacts;
  • Democracy and governance;
  • Preservation of biodiversity;
  • New technologies;
  • Employability; and
  • Youth mobility.

Website - Africa-France New Summit

Press release - French Ministry of Foreign Affairs

GPE replenishment concludes with US$4.0 billion of US$5.0 billion funding target raised by global donors

At the Global Education Summit, co-hosted by the UK and Kenya to replenish funds for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), donors raised a record US$4.0 billion in funding for educating the world's most vulnerable children between 2021 and 2026.

GPE leadership has said they hope that donors will provide additional financial support in the years to come, in order to reach the full US$5.0 billion in programming funds, which they say would enable up to 175 million children to access education and help get 88 million more young children enrolled in school by 2o25. The replenishment came against the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis; the pandemic's dramatic disruption of education worldwide is well documented and is of major concern to sector experts.

Donor contributions included:

GPE is a multi-stakeholder partnership between low- and middle-income countries, donors, multilateral and civil society organizations, foundations, and companies, founded in 2020 with the objective to give children and youth all over the world access to education.

Press release - GPE

France pledges US$401 million to Global Partnership for Education for 2021-2025

Ahead of the Global Education Summit, the replenishment conference of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), on July 28-29, 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron pledged a contribution of €333 million (US$401 million) to the organization for 2021-2025. This amount represents a flat contribution compared to the last replenishment cycle for the years 2018 to 2020.

Half of this amount will support girls' education, which is fundamental to achieving gender equality, said President Macron during the Generation Equality Forum on June 30, the landmark UN-convened gender equality summit where Macron first announced his pledge.

GPE is a multi-stakeholder partnership between low- and middle-income countries, donors, multilateral and civil society organizations, foundations, and companies, founded in 2020 with the objective to give children and youth all over the world access to education. According to GPE, for the period between 2021 and 2025 US$5.0 billion is needed to support their work.

Press release - Global Partnership for Education

France will reach 0.7% ODA of GNI 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 cross-cutting 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 Esther 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