Establish a global development partnership (MDG 8)
APD (Public Development Aid)
Since 2002, French APD has grown considerably. This trend is the concrete translation of the policy engagement undertaken by the President of the Republic at the Monterrey Summit on financing development and will progressively take our APD level to 0.5% of GNP by 2007 and to 0.7% (objective recommended by the UN) by 2012. On this basis France’s APD reached the level of 5.8 billion Euros in 2002 (or 0.38% of GNP) and will represent 6.4 billion Euros in 2003, 0.41% of GNP. In 2004 French APD will amount to 0.42% of GNP and the target for 2005 is 0.44%.
France also aims to play a role in the deployment of the Monterrey consensus on the basis of which developing countries undertake to improve their political and economic governance in order to ensure improved efficacy of the aid provided. We are thus in advance with regards to the European engagement made in Barcelona in March 2002 on the basis of which the collective European Union Public Development Aid should reach 0.39% of GNP by 2006,each member state having undertaken to raise their Public Development Aid levels to a minimum of 0.33% of GNP. In addition, France is active in inciting its G7 partners to publicly declare an objective of 0.7%. Our country is the leader in terms of effort relative to GNP, ahead of the United Kingdom (0.31%), Canada (0.28%) and Germany (0.27%).
France does not stop at a simple financial engagement. This effort cannot be dissociated from the drive to establish solid partnerships which manage policies making a significant contribution to achieving the MDG. France was one of the founder countries for the Fast Track initiative, which it supports strongly. This initiative is the first illustration of the financial partner-beneficiary partnerships based on credible sector based policies within the framework of the MDG.
In 2003, 43% of the French bilateral APD was allocated to Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The meeting of the CICID (Inter-ministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development) held on 11th December 2002 agreed that France would provide increased support for the LDC, two thirds of which are located in Africa, thus confirming the priority given to the fight against poverty. The APD for LDCs represented 0.13 of GNP in 2003, and the objective is to raise this level of 0.15% of GDP. Here again, with regards to Africa, France’s financial effort is only applied in conjunction with strong and constant support from the NEPAD.
This is a specific aid programme, and as such France fully applies the CAD directive with regards to aid for LDC and even goes beyond this, given that the full amount of aid contributed by the French Development Agency is totally independent.
Access to Markets
Further to the Doha agreements and the undertakings made by OECD countries to contribute to building capacities of developing countries to participate in the international commercial system, a specific programme aimed at providing technical assistance for commercial capacity building (PRCC) was established in June 2002. This programme is aimed at financing actions which strengthen institutional capacities (help in the preparation of positions for negotiating with international and multilateral systems) and above all which improve export capacities of the 12 LDCs in Africa ad South East Asia. This support for export capacities is translated by programmes which include, for example, the development of Appellations of Origin, strengthening the quality of agricultural produce and of processed foodstuffs, taking into account international standards, etc. Such actions contribute towards the restructuring of agricultural industries, such as the cotton industry in West Africa.
Strengthening the commercial capacities of the LDC - Target 13 of MDG 8
Support for reform of the cotton industry in Benin: the project involved consolidating the organisation of the cotton industry in the country with a major element (representing financing of 1.85 M€) based on improving the competitiveness of the industry as a whole and improving its position on the international market;
Development of the banking sector in rural Vietnam: support for village coffee and rubber tree plantations with production destined to export; accompanying producers using micro credit systems (20.25 M€);
Consolidating and communicating agro-ecological techniques in Madagascar: support for the deployment of an agro-ecological control network (1.56 M€) in the agriculture, silviculture and fisheries sectors;
Improvement of animal production (part of which is destined to export) in Burkina Faso: capacity building for professional organisations, improving the sanitary environment of the breeders’ smallholdings.
Target 15: Sustainability of the debt
France is the leading contributor towards Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) with a global effort of some 12.686 billion Euros plus 255 million Euros in contributions to the HIPC fiduciary fund.
Prior to the establishment of the HIPC initiative, France had already dedicated a total amount of 10 billion Euros to cancelling debt, within bilateral and multilateral frameworks, of Highly Indebted Poor Countries and also to countries eligible for AID financing. Within the Paris Club, France will allocate in fine 7.632 billion Euros to the HIPC.
The additional bilateral effort by France in favour of the HIPC will represent a contribution of 5.054 billion Euros:
· France cancelled 1.185 billion Euros of commercial debt before the repayment date (Tokyo, 2000) immediately further to the decision being approved (Yaoundé, 2001).
· France is currently cancelling debts of 3.869 billion Euros within the framework of a specific system: Debt Cancellation and Development Contract (C2D), which serves as a method for refinancing by substituting debt repayment obligations by APD credits to HIPC. At present 5 C2D programmes are ongoing in Uganda, Bolivia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Mauritania. In total the sum of debt cancellations that France has applied or will be applying to countries eligible within the framework of the HIPC initiative is estimated at 12.7 billion Euros.
France has also allocated 255 million Euros to financing debt cancellation by IFIs within the framework of the HIPC initiative through contributions to HIPC fiduciary funds. This amount includes French contribution to the European development fund. France will also participate in the reconstitution of AID resources in 2004 which will enable the financing of debt cancellations approved by the AID.
Target 17: Develop access to medicines at an affordable price (OMDG 8 Target 17)
France wishes to strengthen support for pharmaceutical policies in numerous countries and enable these to fully use all the flexibility offered by the Doha agreements. It encourages technology transfer and therefore direct investment by developed countries in partner countries in order to develop the production of generic drugs, notably antiretroviral drugs for a small number of countries presenting the necessary prerequisites. The question of access to drugs has become one of the keys to multilateral commercial negotiations: this question is not however solely commercial and the solution retained within the framework of the WTO - which will have a significant impact on the price of drugs in poor countries - should be accompanied over the long term by an effort towards financing healthcare systems in such countries. Such financing should be found within the framework of public-private partnerships which include local stakeholders.
The constitution of a fund for medicines in Mozambique - Target 17 of MDG 8
Within the framework of the HIPC initiative, France paid 1 million Euros in 2002 towards a Debt Cancellation and Development Contract for the healthcare system in Mozambique. The aim is to facilitate the acquisition of drugs to fight against STDs and AIDS. France also supports, to the amount of 14.5 million Euros, a project of global access to basic healthcare services in the region of Cabo Delgado (north of the country), including access to medicines for healthcare centres in urban and rural environments.
Target 18: fighting against the digital divide
Within the framework of its policy of fighting against the digital divide, France has based its cooperation actions on four principle themes:
· Improving and reinforcing access to new technologies and the internet by supporting the installation of public internet access points and supporting initiatives aimed at reducing the cost of international bandwidth, notably by establishing points of internet exchange between various internet access providers;
· Support for the development of a legal and regulatory framework which encourages exchange of good practices through the organisation of seminars on the legal aspects of development of the information society and by supporting regional institutions in the technical management of the internet, these being precious relays for a more decentralised governance of this tools;
· Training experts in new technologies in southern hemisphere countries and valorisation of the expertise within southern hemisphere based projects;
· Support for the production of local content promoting cultural and linguistic diversity on the internet.