Building a lasting peace and combatting fragilities


1.6 billion people live in States considered to be fragile for economic, political, security, societal or environmental reasons. Since these situations are sources of crises and conflicts, France is stepping up its work with a new strategy which was adopted by the Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID)* in February 2018. This “Prevention, Resilience and Sustainable Peace” strategy is based on three priority areas:
• addressing the root causes of fragilities before they lead to full-scale crises (preventive approach),
• strengthening inclusive governance and the social contract (contractualist approach)
• better coordination of French actions (comprehensive approach).

A strategy in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda**

In line with Sustainable Development Goal 16, this strategy seeks to achieve three objectives: peace, justice and strong institutions.

It stresses the need to act globally, focusing on the complementarity of the actions of “Team France”: all actors must be mobilized, whether in the areas of diplomacy, security, development, stabilization or humanitarian assistance. To this end, joint analyses of the context must enable collaborative planning, coordinated actions and the optimization of financial instruments to take place.

What are the criteria for action?

In line with an expanded concept of fragility and in order to meet the requirement for quick action in fragile environments, the choice has been made not to have a predefined list of so-called “fragile” countries. However, given the increasing number of fragilization processes around the world, the priorities for action must be set out in order of importance. This will be based on a pre-emptive, collaborative and regular analysis of four criteria, which when viewed as a whole, will guide France’s choices on how it responds to fragilities:

  • high vulnerability of the relevant area to tensions and shocks;
  • low ability of States and companies to address the issue;
  • proven risk that fragilization processes could spread further afield;
  • comparative advantage for France.

What resources and what areas of action?

By 2022, €500 million will have been allocated to humanitarian and food aid. Furthermore, the French Development Agency’s Peace and Resilience Fund, which is aimed at reducing vulnerabilities, will be doubled to reach €200 million by 2020. A significant portion of this fund is part of the Sahel Alliance, focusing on the Sub-Saharan region.

In line with the commitments of The New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States***, there will be five main priorities:

1. legitimate politics: foster inclusive political settlements and conflict resolution;
2. security: establish and strengthen people’s security;
3. justice: address injustices and increase people’s access to justice;
4. economic foundations: generate employment and improve livelihoods;
5. revenue and services: manage revenue and build capacity for accountable and fair service delivery.

What are the principles for action?

The “Prevention, Resilience and Sustainable Peace” strategy is based on six principles for action:

  • reiterate the role of political and diplomatic stakeholders;
  • prevent crises from arising or recurring by supporting inclusion and resilience;
  • use a collaborative, forward-looking and dynamic analysis of fragilities and risks;
  • respond in an integrated manner and over the long term to the various aspects of fragility;
  • support processes led by local stakeholders, thus ensuring the ownership, legitimacy and sustainability of actions;
  • take a rights-based approach to our actions.

* The CICID sets the trends for French international cooperation and development assistance policy.

** In 2016, the UN and member countries adopted a sustainable development programme, based around 17 goals as well as a global climate change agreement. Learn more.

*** The New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States is a global policy agreement between fragile and conflict-affected states, development partners and civil society to improve development policy and practices. It defines new ways for donors to commit and guiding principles for so-called “fragile” countries. Learn more.

January 2021