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Published on 14/05/2018

Increase in French official development assistance, Emmanuel Macron needs to convert the try

Coordination Sud press release – Paris, 9 April 2018.

[Download the press release] (in French)

In 2017, France devoted 0.43 % of its national wealth to international solidarity (compared to 0.38 % in 2016), i.e. an increase of 14.9 %. This was revealed by the OECD figures published today. NGOs were eagerly awaiting this good news. However, Coordination SUD invites France to project itself further into the future to come in line with international standards. It will also continue to be vigilant so that French official development aid remains firmly focused on its primary aim of fighting against poverty and inequalities.

Coordination SUD welcomes this increase and underlines that the increase of ODA in 2017 is due to the exceptional mobilisation of parliamentarians and NGOs at the end of 2016, so that the 2017 budget would be more ambitious: an increase in ODA credits and in the rate of the financial transactions tax (FTT) from 0.2 to 0.3 %).

The recent Interministerial committee for International cooperation on development (Cicid) also agreed on an increase in official development assistance (ODA) to 0.55 % of national wealth in 2022, in compliance with Emmanuel Macron’s commitment. However, this will be an insufficient milestone in terms of the much repeated international goal of 0.7 %.

For Philippe Jahshan, chairperson of Coordination SUD: “Although this evolution seems regular, up to now budgetary efforts have been lacking. Consequently, it will be necessary to make it concrete, by allocating the necessary resources every year. Cicid’s current trajectory does not include effective commitment of new credits before 2020. France must increase its budgetary contribution in 2019”.

For Claire Fehrenbach, administrator of Coordination SUD and general manager of Oxfam France “The 2019 budget must go further. The totality of the financial transaction tax must be allocated to international solidarity and climate change. As a pioneer of innovative funding, France must uphold its ambition and give example”.

Coordination SUD regularly questions the coherency of the structure and targets of French ODA, which are detrimental to its effectiveness and side-track it from its primary objectives. For Philippe Jahshan: French ODA is marked by the high proportion of its loans, which, piloted with solvency requirements do not benefit the least advanced countries. This growing imbalance must reverse to make greater room for donations. We will be vigilant so that the supplementary resources that must be made available for ODA primarily benefit the least advanced countries and the fight against poverty and inequalities.”