A new ambition for French development policy


To tackle the consequences of the global crises that affect all continents today, France is giving itself the means to more effectively combat global inequalities and protect global public goods.

On 20 July 2021, Parliament therefore adopted the programming Act on inclusive development and combating global inequalities, spearheaded by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, on behalf of the Government. Keep track of the Act on our social media and via the #LoiDéveloppementSolidaire hashtag.

Why do we need an Act on inclusive development?

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the global challenges that all societies, in both North and South, must confront: the emergence of pandemics due to the deterioration of biodiversity, growing inequalities, poverty and food insecurity, forced migrations, and the emergence of radicalism, which are given fertile ground during crises.

It is in our interest to take action as early as possible in order to prevent these crises that affect all continents and all populations. We have a common interest in the successful transition of our growth models to make them resilient, inclusive and sustainable. In this collective effort, we should particularly focus on the most vulnerable countries, especially African countries. It is a solidarity imperative in their regard. It is also directly in the interests of French citizens.

That is why the Government has decided to step up efforts to invest more in global public goods and the fight against global inequality with this programming Act on inclusive development and the fight against global inequalities, which recalls that development is a fully-fledged pillar of France’s foreign policy. Replacing the Act of 7 July 2014 on development and international solidarity policy, with greater resources and renewed methods, it reflects the desire to ensure our action is effective on the ground, serving the most vulnerable populations.

The challenge is also for France to be able to continue, thanks to the credibility of its political and financial commitment, to rally vast coalitions to take greater action to preserve global public goods (climate, health, education, etc.). That is what it did in 2019 during its G7 Presidency and has continued to do in the context of the COVID-19 response and to contribute to setting up a sustainable recovery after the crisis.

The Act in 5 points.

What are the major thrusts of the Act on inclusive development and combating global inequalities?

1. France, the world’s fifth-largest donor, is giving itself the means to more effectively combat global inequalities and protect global public goods.

  • Increasing our investments in the preservation of global public goods and crisis prevention requires foresight and a clear financial trajectory: for the first time, France will have a programming act for the development policy budget.
  • The Act implements the President of the Republic’s commitment to increase France’s official development assistance (ODA) to 0.55% of the gross national income (GNI) by 2022, compared to 0.44% today. France will strive to dedicate 0.7% of GNI to ODA by 2025.
  • The increase in resources will enable France to assist the most vulnerable countries, particularly in Africa, in the transition towards more resilient, inclusive and sustainable growth models. It will also enable France to invest in multilateral funds to take greater action to support climate action, health, education and gender equality.

2. Clearly identified geographic and sector-based priorities

  • Grants will be focused on the most vulnerable countries, in particular the 19 priority countries for French ODA, which are in the least developed countries category (LDCs) and mainly located in sub-Saharan Africa. France will also increase its investments in other developing and emerging countries to support the protection of global public goods.
  • Investing in multilateral organizations and funds will enable France to provide solutions to the global challenges affecting every continent: the climate and biodiversity, health, security crises and vulnerabilities, gender equality, and education.

3. Strengthened partnerships to ensure there is a real impact on the ground

  • With partner countries, especially African countries, we are establishing a partnership based on the principles of responsibility and shared interests.
  • With all development stakeholders, including in partner countries (local governments, NGOs, foundations, the private sector, etc.), which produce results on the ground and play their role fully in this solidarity effort.

4. Enhanced coordination in support of our strategy

  • The development policy will be better coordinated, both centrally and on the ground.
  • In partner countries, the French ambassador will chair a local development council in order to ensure the synergy of efforts made by all actors in “Team France abroad”, as part of a single strategy.

5. More transparency and better monitoring of results on the ground

To better evaluate the results, efficiency and impact of our action, a development policy evaluation committee will be created.

6. Increased appeal of France to host international institutions

This Act will make France more attractive as a seat for international institutions, especially those that play a key role in the international development agenda and the promotion of global public goods.

7. Improved measures for the return of “ill-gotten gains”

These new measures mean that the fruits of disposing of “ill-gotten gains” will give rise to the opening of funding for cooperation and development activities directly benefiting the populations concerned. Each year, Parliament will take stock of the implementation of the returns mechanism in order to guarantee transparency and accountability.

The development policy Act: the fruit of a vast consultation process

The Act is the result of a vast consultation process with all international development and solidarity stakeholders, led by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State for Tourism, French Nationals Abroad and Francophonie:

Members of parliament also took part in the reflection on renewing development policy:

More on this subject: