Development policy: France’s strategy

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France’s development policy is in line with the framework established by the international community, particularly the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted in September 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly, the Paris Climate Agreement, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development. It is also part of the new European Consensus on Development, adopted in 2017.

Strategic objectives and guidelines

The main strategic objectives and guidelines of France’s development policy are set out by Act no. 2014-773 on guidelines and programming regarding development policy and international solidarity (LOP-DSI) of 7 July 2014, (in French), as well as by successive decisions by the French Interministerial Committee on International Cooperation and Development (CICID), chaired by the Prime Minister and bringing together the Ministers dealing with international solidarity.

The CICID of 8 February 2018 set out new guidelines for French development policy following broad interministerial consultations and discussions with the National Council for Development and International Solidarity (CNDSI).

It reaffirmed the overarching objectives of poverty eradication, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Climate Agreement and the protection of global common goods.

It set out five thematic priorities in order to take action on the underlying factors of inequality in the world: international stability; climate; education; gender equality and health.

It began adjusting French development policy so that 0.55% of gross national income (GNI) would be allocated to official development assistance (ODA) by 2022, as a result of an increase in grants and bilateral assistance, with a larger proportion of this assistance passing through civil society and humanitarian organizations.

On the whole, Africa will be the main beneficiary of these efforts, with 19 priority countries, all classed as Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
In 2019, France’s ODA reached €10.9 billion, its highest yet, equal to 0.44% of GNI, a figure largely above the average (0.30%) among OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors.

France ranks fifth among the OECD’s DAC donors in volume. In 2019, Africa, which is the priority of French development policy, was the focus of 40% of our bilateral funding, or €2.7 billion, almost a third of which was earmarked for sub-Saharan Africa (€2 billion).

A new ambition for French development policy

In 2017, the President of the French Republic set out a new ambition for France’s development policy. A programming bill on inclusive development and combating global inequalities was presented by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, to the Council of Ministers on 16 December 2020.

More information about the bill

Updated: January 2021