France is the world’s fourth biggest Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) donor in terms of budget, contributing almost €10 billion annually (€9,348 million in 2011), and the second biggest in terms of percentage of Gross National Income (GNI) at 0.46%. Africa is the primary beneficiary of France’s ODA (55%), and sub-Saharan Africa in particular (41%). France is also the second biggest contributor (and the biggest in Europe) to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, helping to provide HIV/AIDS treatment for 4.2 million sufferers around the world and tuberculosis treatment for 9.7 million, and to distribute over 310 million insecticide-treated bed nets to protect against malaria.
At the closing session on 1 March 2013 of the Conferences on Development and International Solidarity, a consultation process that extended over four months and was chaired by the Minister Delegate for Development, President Hollande outlined his plans for the renewal of the nation’s development and international solidarity policy during his first term of office.
France will continue to adhere to an ambitious development policy, with redefined objectives. Actions will be determined according to three priorities: the first, economic development for those countries in need of it, with beneficiaries in return agreeing to comply with the requirements of democracy, reinforce the rule of law and promote the rights of women; secondly, security: there can be no long-term security without development, and no development without security; finally, the need to protect the environment and, above all, the earth’s climate. The French Development Agency (AFD) has made renewable energies a priority and will no longer provide funding for sectors incompatible with climate objectives, such as coal-fired power plants that do not incorporate carbon capture and storage technology.
For the first time in the history of the Fifth Republic, a draft orientation and programming law on France’s development and international solidarity policy will be laid before parliament this autumn, for adoption early in the following year.
A National Development and International Solidarity Council will be set up to serve as a forum for regular consultation with all the stakeholders, and with civil society in particular.
The resources allocated to international solidarity will be sufficient to support this ambitious policy. Despite tight economic and financial constraints, France has maintained the level of development credit in its 2013 budget, and 10% of the proceeds from the tax on financial transactions will be devoted to development in Africa this year, with priority going to the Sahel. The President also reiterated his wish to see a significant proportion of the European tax on financial transactions ("Tobin" tax), currently in the process of introduction, allocated to development. When the economic and budgetary situation permits, the resources devoted to development will be reviewed in the light of the international objectives to which France has subscribed.