Emmanuel Macron was elected as the new President in May and his movement gained the absolute majority of seats at the Assembly a month later. His government, composed of former members of both the right and the left parties, is less socially orientated than the previous government.
Most ministries have already seen their budget shrink. ODA was cut in 2017 and the law of finance only announces a 100 million raise for the 2018 ODA. This jeopardizes Macron’s commitment to allocate 0.55% of GNI to the ODA in 2022 (compared with less than 0.4% these last years). There no longer is a Development Minister per se.
Policies & funding
The first Development law, adopted in June 2014, was a big step forward in terms of democratic control of French ODA. It specifically mentions sexual and reproductive health and contraception. In October 2016, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) published a Population/SRHR Strategic Paper (2016-2020); the first ever reference document on the issue. The third Gender and development strategy is currently in writing and will be out in early 2018. A summary version of the Health Strategy of the MoFA was published in 2017; the final full version is expected in 2018.
The Population/SRHR Strategic Paper is not associated to any specific budget. Financial contributions to the SRHR field mainly consist of the bi-multi support to the Fonds Français Muskoka (WHO, UNFPA, UN Women and UNICEF) and the Agence Française de Dévelopment bilateral projects.
Figures for SRH/FP support from France in 2016 reveal a significant reduction in funding (€38 million, a 69% reduction) compared with 2015, mainly due to the ending of its annual funding for the Muskoka Initiative. In 2017, France continued to politically support the Ouagadougou Partnership and the new President elected in 2017 has already committed to prioritising women’s rights and increasing ODA over the coming years.
Francophone West African countries are still the biggest priority for French development policies. The Sahel Initiative (launched jointly with Germany) is a new channel for priority aid. It does not include SRHR at the moment, but could be a pivotal instrument for French aid in the coming years.
Under the previous government, France had a strong voice in favor of SRHR. President Macron having made education, health and gender equality his three priorities for the development policy, this is expected to continue. However, for the time being, Macron has only drawn some very general principles that do not bind him to very specific commitments.
For the last three or four years, France has had a strong voice in international events such as Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the Commission on Population and Development (CPD), within European Union processes, and has pushed forward SRHR and family planning issues in the Agenda 2030 framework.
- MoFA Health Strategy (2017)
- MoFA Population/SRHR Strategic Paper (2016)
- Development law (2014)
- MoFA Gender and Development Strategic Paper (2013)
Updated January 2018
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