Policy Updates

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Donor Tracker to host webinar on climate finance and role of ODA

Join the Donor Tracker this Thursday, August 6, 2020, from 16:00-17:00 (CEST), for a webinar addressing the pressing need for international climate finance in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

In 2015, the latest in a series of global climate change agreements was signed in Paris. The Paris Agreement includes a pledge made by donor countries to mobilize US$100 billion a year by 2020 for climate action in LMICs. This upcoming Donor Tracker webinar will examine the role that ODA can and should play in funding for climate action, including the US$100 billion target. It will include an overview of trends in ODA-related climate funding and policies by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) donors.

This webinar, and our recently published report on climate finance and ODA, complements the recent addition of ‘Climate’ as a sector of analysis across the Donor Tracker Donor Profiles. Climate was added this year in recognition of the importance of climate action to the future of global development efforts.

Registration - Zoom

Donor Tracker to host webinar on gender equality and donor finance for women's economic empowerment

Join Donor Tracker this Friday, July 24 from 15:00-16:00 (CEST) for a webinar exploring donor financing for women’s economic empowerment, featuring analysis from the Donor Tracker team and our partner, the ONE Campaign.

Gender equality, including women's financial inclusion and economic empowerment, has gained increasing attention from the international donor community in recent years; but to what extent can donors' rhetorical commitment to the issue be seen reflected in data on donors' financing for women's economic empowerment? In this Donor Tracker webinar, Kalila Jaeger and Isabela Vera from the Donor Tracker and Ebba Henningsson from ONE will guide participants through an introduction to the OECD’s gender equality policy marker, discuss the current state of donor finance for gender-related development programming, and explore trends in donor countries' spending on economic empowerment initiatives for women.

Registration - Zoom

French NGOs criticize latest MFF proposal

Coordination SUD, the French umbrella organization for international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), has expressed deep concerns about the revisions made by the European Council to the proposal for the next EU Budget, the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF). In particular, it has raised concerns regarding the 17% (€20.0 billion or US$ 22.5 billion) cut to the international development budget, compared to the previous proposal from the European Commission.

According to Coordination SUD, the budget proposed by the heads of state following negotiations on the EU's COVID-19 recovery plan, will not be sufficient to 'leave no one behind' or to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the world's poorest countries. It is furthermore concerned by the privileging of loans and guarantees over grants in the proposed budget.

Press release - Coordination SUD (in French)

French NGOs call for drastic increase in ODA in response to COVID-19

Considering the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis on poor countries — in Africa in particular — Coordination SUD, the French national umbrella organization of international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), is calling on the French government to drastically increase its funding for development assistance.

Coordination SUD calculated that according to financial needs expressed by World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) alone, France should proportionally to its size, contribute as much as ‎€14.5 billion (US$15.9 billion) toward international development efforts.

Specifically, Coordination SUD is calling on the French government to:

  1. Increase the volume and the rate of the Financial Transaction Tax to mobilize additional funding for official development assistance (ODA);
  2. Increase its ODA as soon as the next 2020 budget law amendment to rapidly reach the 0.7% UN ODA to GNI target, a commitment to be renewed in the 2021 budget law and the forthcoming orientation and program bill on international development; and
  3. Mobilize the G20, Development Banks, and private lenders to relieve the debt burden of the most affected countries.

Press release - Coordination SUD (in French)

Donor Tracker to host webinar on donors’ international COVID-19 response following Global Goal Summit pledges

On July 2, 2020, from 16:00-17:00 (CEST), Donor Tracker will host a second webinar on donor countries’ international COVID-19 responses following the Global Goal Summit. The Summit, held on June 27, raised US$6.9 billion for developing globally accessible COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments.

The Donor Tracker's expert team will analyze the Summit's outcomes and discuss implications for donor countries’ further international responses to the pandemic.

Registration - Zoom 

Thirteen NGOs launch call to action against "vaccine nationalism" in joint op-ed

In a joint open editorial, 13 heads of NGOs, including Doctors without Borders, Oxfam France, and ONE, expressed their concerns about "vaccine nationalism" in the fight against the COVID19 pandemic.

While some NGO leaders welcomed the promises of world leaders, including France's President Macron, to make future COVID-19 vaccines a global public good accessible to all nations, the signatories of this op-ed expressed worry about the growing competition among nations to secure access to vaccines for their own countries first.

The foundation of the Inclusive Alliance, initiated by France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, which committed to pre-purchase 400 million doses for European member states, could negatively impact countries with the most fragile health systems, according to the authors. 

For this reason, the op-ed's signatories called for the implementation of transparent processes, an agreement to benefit from vaccines at cost price, and the adoption of conditionality measures for pharmaceutical companies where public money is engaged. The authors notably asked the French Government to join the WHO COVID-19 Technology Access Pool which aims to share intellectual property and knowledge to facilitate access to the populations the most in need. 

Op-ed - Le Journal du Dimanche (in French)

France adopts new strategy to support domestic resource mobilization in low-income countries

France has released its new domestic resources mobilization strategy for low-income countries, which provides a framework to support states in their capacity to raise taxes and allocate funding to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The strategy, to be implemented by the Ministry of Foreign affairs and the Ministry of Economy and Finance, defines three main objectives:

1) Support for the definition of efficient fiscal public policies;

2) Support for the modernization of administrations in low-income countries (with an emphasis on the most fragile nations and Sahel states); and

3) The optimization of international cooperation instruments.

To implement the plan, France will allocate €60 million (US$65 million) for the 2020-2023 period. France plans to promote the strategy through the G7 and G20, the OECD, and the EU.

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

Efforts to make future COVID-19 vaccine available across EU are insufficient, warn French NGOs; vaccine must be classified as global public good

With France's President Macron planning to visit a COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing site in Lyon, French NGOs Global Health Advocates (GHA), ONE, and Oxfam France have increased pressure on the government to classify a future COVID-19 vaccine as a global public good.

The NGOs' joint statement comes after France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands launched the 'Inclusive Vaccine Alliance', a coalition which will jointly select research programs, negotiate with vaccine developers and producers, and broker deals with various pharmaceutical companies with the ultimate goal of ensuring that a vaccine is accessible across the EU. 

GHA, ONE, and Oxfam expressed concerns that this initiative may not sufficiently prioritize access to COVID-19 vaccines in low-income countries, despite statements made by French officials emphasizing the importance of global solidarity in vaccine distribution.  

Press release - ONE

Italy, Germany, France, and Netherlands sign agreement with British drugmaker for 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in clinical trials

The Inclusive Vaccines Alliance, a group formed by France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, signed a contract with the British drugmaker AstraZeneca to supply up to 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccine, developed by the University of Oxford, is still in clinical trials. If the trial results convince regulators the vaccine is safe and effective, deliveries are expected to start by the end of 2020.

The Italian Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, announced that the vaccine would be distributed for free, starting with the highest-risk groups. Speranza added that a significant part of the production process would take place in Italy.

Press release - Italian Ministry of Health website

New Coalition for the Sahel must be guided by humanitarian principles, says UK Minister for Africa

The UK Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, has called on the new Coalition for the Sahel, of which the UK is a member, to adopt a strong focus on tackling the drivers of instability in the region and to ensure humanitarian principles guide all of the coalition’s work.

The Coalition is a new international initiative supporting security, political, and development efforts in Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad. Members of the coalition include all the governments of the region, France, and the EU.  

Speaking at the coalition's international meeting on June 12, 2020, Duddridge praised the creation of the initiative and called for it to work across three key areas:

  1. Tackling the drivers of instability;
  2. Providing a joint vision for addressing instability in the region; and
  3. Working to ensure that human rights and humanitarian principles are integrated into all coalition efforts and are included in the terms of reference for the initiative.

The UK is the third-largest humanitarian donor to the region and has provided over £500 million (US$615 million) in bilateral development and humanitarian assistance since 2015.

Press release – UK government

At Gavi's Global Vaccine Summit, world leaders exceed funding target with historic US$8.8 billion

Representatives of 52 countries, including 35 heads of state, joined the June 5, 2020, Global Vaccine Summit, convened by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to raise a total of US$8.8 billion in financing for childhood immunizations and vaccine infrastructure. World leaders, meeting with representatives of 12 organizations and corporations for the London-based pledging moment, hoped to reach a US$7.4 billion funding target. By the time the pledging ended, the target had been overshot by US$1.4 billion.

Against the backdrop of a still-raging COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands and laid waste to the global economy, attendees of the summit spoke passionately about the need for global cooperation and solidarity in ensuring that a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, once developed, be accessible to all.

The US$8.8 billion will support Gavi's campaign to vaccinate 300 million children in the world's poorest countries against diseases including diphtheria, polio, and measles by 2025. Disruptions to Gavi's regular immunization activities, caused by COVID-19, have endangered an estimated 80 million children under one year old. The funding will also bolster Gavi's efforts in strengthening health systems in low-income states which have been ravaged by the pandemic and will help build out infrastructure to support the eventual provision of a vaccine against the virus.

A further US$567 million was also raised for 'Gavi Advance Market Commitment for COVID-19 Vaccines' (Gavi Covax AMC), a new financing instrument designed to provide access to the eventual COVID-19 vaccine specifically in low- and middle-income countries.

“To beat the COVID-19 pandemic, the world needs more than breakthrough science. It needs breakthrough generosity,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “...When COVID-19 vaccines are ready, this funding and global coordination will ensure that people all over the world will be able to access them.”

Press release - Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

France pledges US$395 million at Gavi’s Global Vaccine Summit: 233% increase from 2015 pledge

At the Global Vaccine Summit, convened by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in London on June 4, 2020, France pledged €350 million (US$395 million). This represents a 233% increase from France's most recent pledge to Gavi in 2015 of €150 million (US$164 million, with 2020 conversion rate) for the period of 2016-2020. France was represented at the event by President Emmanuel Macron.

According to Macron, €250 million (US$282 million) will be allocated through direct funding, and an additional €100 million (US$113 million) will be allocated "when the effective vaccine against COVID is available in order to ensure its dissemination at an affordable price".

Press release - French Presidency

Macron announces France's priorities to achieve SDGs

In a statement given during the UN High-Level Event on financing for development and COVID-19, French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated France’s priorities for realizing the Sustainable Development Goals. The COVID-19 crisis should be seen as a demonstration of the need for more multilateralism and international cooperation despite the current challenges, he said.
Macron identified three priorities for France:

  1. Universal access to health In part through  France’s support for the ACT-A initiative, coordinated by World Health Organisation to respond to the pandemic by providing testing, treatments, and vaccines to countries with the most fragile health systems;
  2. Support to the most vulnerable countries affected by the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic: specifically through debt cancelation and debt restructuring particularly in Africa, for which the IMF, the G7, the G20, and China should be mobilized; and
  3. Climate and biodiversity: in the run-up to the COP15 on biodiversity and the COP26 on climate change, France will organize a ‘One Planet Summit’ in Marseille in January of 2021 with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and a summit of all 450 public development banks on November 12, as part of the Paris Peace Forum to build a new coalition to mobilize the private and public financial sectors to tackle climate change.

Macron also indicated that the Generation Equality Forum, originally planned for July of 2020 in Paris will be organized in the Summer of 2021.

Press release - French permanent mission to the UN

France to maintain planned increase in development spending despite COVID-19 crisis

During a discussion between the French NGO umbrella organization ‘Coordination SUD’ and French Foreign Affairs Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Le Drian indicated that France will maintain its planned financial trajectory until 2022. The planned increase in official development assistance for 2021 of € 988 million (US$1 million) will also move ahead.

Le Drian informed French NGOs that the new Development and Orientation Law on Development, which should have been debated in the first semester 2021, will be debated in September. Coordination SUD took this opportunity to advocate for flexible and additional funding to tackle the pandemic at the national, European, and international levels. The NGO collective also pointed out the financial threat the pandemic poses to the whole NGO sector.
 
Press release - Coordination SUD (in French)

Speaking at World Health Assembly, France's Macron praises coordinated pandemic response from WHO and EU, echoes calls for vaccine to be recognized as global public good

Speaking at the virtually-held World Health Assembly, French President Emmanuel Macron emphasized the importance of the World Health Organization's (WHO), saying that the specialized UN agency is needed now more than ever before to coordinate the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Macron announced that France had substantially increased its contribution to the organization (without mentioning an amount, which is still unknown) and actively promoted the ACT-A Initiative, a European financing and coordinating effort for vaccine development under WHO leadership.

Macron also praised the European Union for taking an active role in the global pandemic response; the Union succeeded in mobilizing €7.4 billion (US$8 billion) for a coordinated approach to mobilizing health agencies to work on diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.

Macron finished by emphasizing, like several others of his high-ranking colleagues, that any COVID-19 vaccine, once developed, should be considered a global public good to ensure universal access. 

Statement - French Presidency (in French) 

France pledges US$550 million to EU's Coronavirus Global Response

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on May 4, 2020, that France will support the EU's Coronavirus Global Response with a donation of €500 million (US$550 million).

In his address, Macron praised the multilateral initiative and emphasized that once developed, the COVID-19 vaccine should be considered a common public good.

Global Health Advocates, a French NGO specializing in global health funding, asked the French government to detail the nature of its contribution. The €500 million should be given in addition to those already pledged, the organization urged.

Press release - Global Health Advocates (in French) 

News article - France Info (in French) 

Leaders of EU, Germany, Norway, France co-author op-ed on COVID-19 funding mobilization

In a joint open editorial published in the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, EU Commission President Ursula Von der Layen, EU Council President Charles Michel, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Soblong, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron launched a call to action to mobilize US$8 billion for vaccines, tests, and treatments for COVID-19.

Signatories of this open editorial reiterated the need for multilateral action and called upon governments (notably those of G20 countries), the private sector, and philanthropists to fill the gap in funding the global pandemic response.

The initiative sought to mobilize donors a few days before the May 4, 2020, virtual pledging event to mobilize funding for the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) initiative. ACT was launched on April 24 under the leadership of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Op-ed - Le Journal du Dimanche (in French)

Macron calls on G7 and G20 to support global pandemic response

During a video conference organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) on April 24, 2020, to launch the 'Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator' (ACT Accelerator), French President, Emmanuel Macron, welcomed the opportunity to mobilize governments and global health entities such as the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; and Unitaid to speed up the development of tests, drugs, and vaccines to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19 and ensure equal access to treatments for rich and poor nations.

On this occasion, President Macron identified four challenges:

  1. Supporting health systems: Starting with primary health services to fight all diseases including COVID-19, governments  and civil society organizations will need to move to strengthen health systems globally. It is mainly the role of WHO and global health organizations to support those systems in developing countries.
  2. Tests and diagnostics: Tests must be developed in all countries, including the most fragile. Vertical funding will be instrumental in facilitating access to those tests with civil society organizations mobilizing to reach communities.
  3. Access to treatments: It must be ensured that any treatments developed be universally accessible.
  4. Access to vaccines: Once developed, the vaccine will need to be produced at a large scale and be accessible to all populations, including those in the poorest nations.

Macron also urged all G7 and G20 countries to support the initiative, adding, "the fight against COVID-19 is a common human good and there should be no division in order to win this battle."

Macron concluded by reminding attendees that the EU will organize a pledging conference on May 4, 2020, to mobilize funding for this initiative. A similar coordinated strategy should be applied, he said, to tackle other pandemics, such as tuberculosis and AIDS, which predominantly affect the most vulnerable countries.

Video - French Presidency (in French)

News article - France 24

24 foreign affairs ministers launch joint call for multilateral action on COVID-19

In a joint declaration, 24 ministers of Foreign Affairs from 24 countries, including France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Canada, Sweden, Mexico, Ethiopia, the Netherlands, and Norway launched a 'wake-up call for multilateralism' to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

The signatories of this declaration are members of the Alliance for Multilateralism, an initiative founded by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian. This 'supra-regional network of like-minded states' aims to promote and support the values of the UN and to strengthen international cooperation. Member Ministers emphasized the need for further international cooperation instead of national retrenchment, considering the global dimension of the threat and urging governments to adopt a "co-operative, transparent, science-based and coordinated global response" to the pandemic.

Signatories committed to providing resources in support of the WHO’s COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan; the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation (CEPI); Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; UNITAID; and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in order to assist the most impacted countries. They have called for other governments, philanthropic organizations, and the private sector to do the same.

Press release - French Ministry of Foreign Affairs

24 foreign affairs ministers launch joint call for multilateral action on COVID-19

In a joint declaration, 24 ministers of Foreign Affairs from 24 countries, including France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Canada, Sweden, Mexico, Ethiopia, the Netherlands, and Norway launched a 'wake-up call for multilateralism' to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

The signatories of this declaration are members of the Alliance for Multilateralism, an initiative founded by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian. This 'supra-regional network of like-minded states' aims to promote and support the values of the UN and to strengthen international cooperation. Member Ministers emphasized the need for further international cooperation instead of national retrenchment, considering the global dimension of the threat and urging governments to adopt a "co-operative, transparent, science-based and coordinated global response" to the pandemic.

Signatories committed to providing resources in support of the WHO’s COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan; the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation (CEPI); Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; UNITAID; and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in order to assist the most impacted countries. They have called for other governments, philanthropic organizations, and the private sector to do the same.

Press release - French Ministry of Foreign Affairs