French development policy is highly interministerial in nature. It involves 24 budget programmes, including the two programmes which are part of the “Official Development Assistance” mission and which are central to the policy:
- Programme 110, “Economic and financial development assistance” managed by the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and the Recovery,
- and Programme 209 “Solidarity with developing countries” managed by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
- It is also supported by extrabudgetary resources: the Social Development Fund (FSD) is made up of resources levied from industries that benefit from globalization (for example, a percentage of the revenues from the financial transaction tax [TTF] and the solidarity levy on airline tickets [TSBA]). The FSD finances a series of contributions to multilateral funds in the fields of health, climate and education.
In 2019, a portion of the TTF that was previously directly allocated to the Agence française de développement (AFD) was rebudgeted for ODA purposes.
ODA credits, for execution or programming, are presented each year in detail in annexes to finance bills. The execution and programming of FSD expenditure are published and updated twice annually in the Annual Performance Report (RAP) and in the Cross-cutting Policy Document (DPT).
In 2021 (the most recent year for which definitive OECD ODA data is available), the breakdown of ODA by budget channel is as follows:
- the activities of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) – mainly comprised of loans – account for €3.8 billion or 29% of total ODA; the subsidiary dedicated to the private sector, Proparco, contributes some €908 million;
- the assistance financed by the “Official Development Assistance” mission (programmes 110 and 209) accounts for almost €3.6 billion of ODA, or 27.8% of total ODA);
- the French contribution to the EU’s European ODA budget is €1.9 billion, or 15%. This, like all of France’s contribution to the EU budget, is taken from revenues in the state budget;
- other administrations and agencies, including the Interior Ministry (€915 million) and the Ministry of National Education (€809 million) represent about a quarter of total French ODA.
The commitment made by the President of the Republic to renew the ambition of France’s development policy in 2017 resulted in an increase in the resources allocated to official development assistance (ODA).
French ODA exceeded €10 billion for the first time in 2017, reaching:
- €10.3 billion in 2018 (0.43% of gross national income (GNI));
- €10.9 billion in 2019 (0.44% of GNI);
- €12.4 billion in 2020 (0.53% of GNI);
- €13.1 billion in 2021 (0.51% of GNI);
- €15.1 billion in 2022 (0.56% of GNI) – preliminary data
France is the fourth-largest OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donor (data from the OECD DAC).
French ODA is mainly bilateral. In accordance with the conclusions of the Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID) meeting of February 2018, the bilateral share of France’s ODA has increased, reaching 60% in 2021 (€8 billion).
France’s ODA mainly consists of grants, which made up 77.9% of total bilateral and multilateral financing in 2021 (€10.2 billion). France’s bilateral grants rose by 14% from 2020 to 2021, in accordance with the conclusions of the Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID) meeting of February 2018, which committed to strengthening bilateral ODA in grant form, to more effectively target the most vulnerable countries.
This has been made possible through a significant increase in AFD project grants for projects in priority countries; an increase in project assistance under the Solidarity Fund for Innovative Projects (FSPI) implemented by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and a doubling of funding allocated to civil society organizations between 2017 and 2022.
In 2021, almost 64% of France’s ODA (€10.6 billion) was aimed at five priority areas of development policy set out by the CICID:
- climate and the environment (€4.5 billion);
- gender equality (€3.8 billion);
- education (€1.3 billion);
- healthcare (€947 million);
- fragilities (€101 million).
In 2021, Africa received 36% of French bilateral ODA (€2.9 billion), more than 70% of which (€2 billion) was bilateral and allocated to sub-Saharan Africa.
African countries are also the main recipients of French grants: Senegal, Burkina Faso and Niger, which are on the list of priority countries in France’s development policy, were in the top 10 grant recipient countries in 2021.
The 19 priority countries of French development policy received about €1 billion in French ODA in 2021: the leading recipient was Senegal (€177 million), followed by Mali (€107 million), Burkina Faso (€100 million) and Niger (€92.4 million).
Updated: May 2023