France, a key player in global health

France’s international health policy is based on a strategy that focuses on both achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and increasing international health security.

Achieving the SDGs, especially SDG 3 on health, is a major objective for France. It requires, in particular, health system strengthening (HSS), promoting universal health coverage (UHC) and enhancing human resources in healthcare. Other aims include defending human rights and health equity, gender mainstreaming in all health policies and taking all ages into account.

France also works to improve international health security. The Ebola epidemic revealed the fragility of West African health systems and the progress that the World Health Organization (WHO) needs to make as a global health regulator. The current aim is to contribute to the WHO reform and rebuild more resilient health systems with competent health professionals on the ground.

France’s 2017-2020 global health strategy

To meet new global public health challenges and adapt to meet changing international contexts and frameworks, especially following the adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in September 2015, France published its global health strategy for 2017-2020. This provides a framework of reference and a transversal approach to health challenges.

France’s work is based on guiding principles: a rights-based approach, promotion of healthcare on a universal basis, notably by fighting any form of inequality, country ownership and French attractiveness and influence, notably as regards healthcare training, research and innovation worldwide.

The strategy results from working with all French players from healthcare, research and development and will help to concentrate efforts on a shared goal and four key priorities:

  • Enhancing health systems while fighting illnesses,
  • Bolstering health security on an international level,
  • Promoting health of populations,
  • Promoting French expertise, training, research and innovation.

Updated: June 2018