France is among the top providers of official development assistance (ODA) in volume, with a strong focus on Africa. France’s total ODA (USD 15.9 billion, preliminary data) increased in 2022, mostly due to an increase in aid to sub-Saharan Africa and in-donor refugee costs, representing 0.56% of gross national income (GNI).

Find the methodological notes behind the profile here.

The 2021 Law on Inclusive Development and Combating Global Inequalities (Programming Act No. 2021-1031) identifies ten thematic priorities in France’s efforts to fight poverty and global inequality and preserve global public goods. These are: 1) the environment and climate; 2) gender equality; 3) crises and fragilities; 4) human rights; 5) health; 6) education; 7) food security; 8) water and sanitation; 9) inclusive growth; and 10) governance. Eighteen least developed countries (LDCs) in Africa plus Haiti make up France’s priority partner countries.

France has continuously advocated for a multilateral and European approach in the context of its Group of Seven presidency in 2019 and through its leadership on climate change and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2023, France will host an international summit for a New Global Financial Pact to support the most vulnerable countries when facing the cascading consequences of concurring climate, energy, health and economic crises. Gender and gender equality also have a more central place in France's policy, including the establishment of a Support Fund for Feminist Organisations.

The OECD-DAC mid-term review published in 2022 highlighted the unanimous approval of the new development co-operation law and commended France’s efforts to increase ODA, introduce more efficient procedures, improve steering at the partner country level and collaborate more closely with civil society. It encouraged France to increase the share of grants compared to loans, in line with its ambitions to support fragile contexts and the LDCs, and to strengthen its efforts to steer its development co-operation by results. Learn more about France’s 2022 mid-term review and 2018 peer review.

France provided USD 15.9 billion (preliminary data) of ODA in 2022 (USD 17.4 billion in constant terms), representing 0.56% of GNI.1 This was an increase of 12.5% in real terms in volume and an increase in share of GNI from 0.51% in 2021. ODA measured on a grant equivalent basis has increased every year since 2014. France is in line with its domestic commitment to achieve a 0.55% ODA/GNI ratio by 2022. France is also committed at the European level, to collectively achieve a 0.7% ODA/GNI ratio by 2030. Within France’s ODA portfolio in 2021, 62.4% was provided in the form of grants and 37.6% in the form of non-grants.2

France ranks fifth among Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries in terms of ODA volume and tenth in terms of ODA/GNI ratio in 2022. France stands out for the high share of country programmable aid which represented 65.6% of France’s gross bilateral ODA. It also stands out for its commitment to environmental and climate issues, with 65.5% of its total bilateral allocable aid in support of the environment and the Rio Conventions and 56% of total bilateral allocable aid focused on climate change overall.

France is committed to several international targets, Development Assistance Committee standards and recommendations. Learn more about DAC recommendations.

France provided a higher share of its ODA bilaterally in 2021. Gross bilateral ODA was 66.1% of total ODA. Six per cent of gross bilateral ODA was channelled through multilateral organisations (earmarked contributions). France allocated 33.9% of total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2022, France provided USD 505 million of gross bilateral ODA to Ukraine to respond to the impacts of Russia’s war of aggression, of which USD 0 million was humanitarian assistance (preliminary data). In 2021 it provided USD 25.3 million.

In 2022, France provided USD 392.8 million in ODA for the COVID-19 response. Regarding COVID-19 vaccines, donations of excess doses to developing countries accounted for USD 268 million of ODA. In 2020 and 2021, France’s total bilateral support for COVID-19 response was USD 1.6 billion and USD 1.2 billion, respectively.

In 2021, France provided USD 7.4 billion of gross ODA to the multilateral system, an increase of 6.2% in real terms from 2020. Of this, USD 6.6 billion was core multilateral ODA, while non-core contributions were earmarked for a specific country, region, theme or purpose. Project-type funding earmarked for a specific theme and/or country accounted for 45.6% of France’s non-core contributions and 54.4% was programmatic funding (to pooled funds and specific-purpose programmes and funds).

Sixty-four per cent of France’s total contributions to multilateral organisations in 2021 was allocated to EU Institutions, other multilateral institutions (in descending order).

The UN system received 12.8% of France’s multilateral contributions, mainly in the form of core contributions. Out of a total volume of USD 946 million to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of France’s support (core and earmarked contributions) were IFAD (USD 136.6 million), UNITAID (USD 128.3 million) and UNHCR (USD 100.9 million).

See the section on Geographic and sectoral focus of ODA for the breakdown of bilateral allocations, including ODA earmarked through the multilateral development system. Learn more about multilateral development finance.

In 2021, France’s bilateral spending declined compared to the previous year. It provided USD 12.8 billion of gross bilateral ODA (which includes earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations). This represented a decrease of 6.9% in real terms from 2020. In 2021, France focused most of its bilateral ODA on peace, justice and strong institutions, climate action and reduced inequalities.

In 2021, country programmable aid was 65.6% of France’s gross bilateral ODA, compared to a DAC country average of 45.2%. In-donor refugee costs were USD 1.2 billion in 2021, a decrease of 10.1% in real terms over 2020, and represented 9% of France’s gross bilateral ODA.

In 2021, France channelled bilateral ODA mainly through the public sector as earmarked funding. Technical co-operation made up 10% of gross ODA in 2021.

In 2021, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 698.3 million of gross bilateral ODA. No gross bilateral ODA was allocated to CSOs as core contributions and 5.2% was channelled through CSOs to implement projects initiated by the donor (earmarked funding). From 2020 to 2021, the combined core and earmarked contributions for CSOs increased as a share of bilateral ODA, from 4.8% to 5.5%. Learn more about ODA allocations to and through CSOs, civil society engagement in development co-operation, and the DAC Recommendation on Enabling Civil Society in Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid.

In 2021, France’s bilateral ODA was primarily focused on Africa. USD 4.7 billion was allocated to Africa and USD 2.2 billion to Latin America and the Caribbean, accounting respectively for 36.8% and 17.4% of gross bilateral ODA. USD 1.7 billion (13.2%) was allocated to Asia (excluding the Middle East). Africa was also the main regional recipient of France’s earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2021, 30.9% of gross bilateral ODA went to France’s top 10 recipients. None of France’s 19 priority countries were among its top 10 recipients. The share of gross bilateral ODA that was not allocated by country was 29.4%, with 30.7% of bilateral ODA spent on refugees in the donor country.

In 2021, the least developed countries received 16.3% of France’s gross bilateral ODA (USD 2.1 billion). This is lower than the DAC average of 22.9%. France allocated the highest share of gross bilateral ODA (29.5%) to lower middle-income countries in 2021, noting that 29.4% was unallocated by income group. France allocated 8.7% of gross bilateral ODA to land-locked developing countries in 2021, equal to USD 1.1 billion. France allocated 3.9% of gross bilateral ODA to small island developing states (SIDS) in 2021, equal to USD 496.7 million.

Support to fragile contexts reached USD 2.8 billion in 2021, representing 22.1% of France’s gross bilateral ODA. One per cent of this ODA was provided in the form of humanitarian assistance compared to 1.4% in 2020, while 4% was allocated to peace, which was the same as in 2020. Zero per cent went to conflict prevention, a subset of contributions to peace, similar to 0.3% in 2020.

Learn more about support to fragile contexts on the States of Fragility platform.

In 2021, just over one-third of France’s bilateral ODA was allocated to social infrastructure and services. Investments in this area accounted for 34.6% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 5.2 billion), with a strong focus on support to education (USD 1.7 billion), health (USD 1 billion) and water supply and sanitation (USD 957.4 million). ODA for economic infrastructure and services totalled 23.1% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 3.5 billion), focusing on energy (USD 1.5 billion), transport and storage (USD 1 billion) and banking and financial services (USD 887.5 million). Bilateral humanitarian assistance amounted to USD 81.7 million (0.5% of bilateral ODA). In 2021, earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations focused on government and civil society, banking and financial services and education.

In 2020-21, France committed 46.5% of its screened bilateral allocable aid to gender equality and women’s empowerment, as either a principal or significant objective (up from 32.8% in 2018-19, compared with the 2020-21 DAC average of 44.4%). This is equal to USD 5.8 billion of bilateral ODA in support of gender equality. The share of screened bilateral allocable aid committed to gender equality and women’s empowerment as a principal objective was 4.6% in 2020-21, compared with the DAC average of 4.5%. France includes gender equality objectives in 21.1% of its ODA for humanitarian aid, compared with the 2020-21 DAC average of 17.5%. France screens the majority of activities against the DAC gender equality policy marker (95.3% in 2020-21). France committed USD 52.7 million to support women’s rights organisations and movements and government institutions in 2020-21. Learn more about ODA focused on gender equality, the DAC Network on Gender Equality and the DAC Recommendation on Ending Sexual Exploitation in Development Co-operation.

In 2020-21, France committed 65.5% of its total bilateral allocable aid (USD 8.6 billion) in support of the environment and the Rio Conventions (DAC average of 34.3%), down from 66.3% in 2018-19. Unpacking the environmental data further:

  • Thirty-seven per cent of screened bilateral allocable aid focused on environmental issues as a principal objective, compared with the DAC average of 11.3%.

  • Fifty-six per cent of total bilateral allocable aid (USD 7.4 billion) focused on climate change overall (the DAC average was 29%), up from 38.1% in 2018-19. France had a larger focus on adaptation (40.4%) than on mitigation (32.4%) in 2020-21.

  • Thirteen per cent of total bilateral allocable aid (USD 1.6 billion) focused on biodiversity (compared with the DAC average of 6.5%), up from 12.3% in 2018-19.

Learn more about climate-related development finance and the DAC Declaration on Aligning Development Co-operation with the Goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The OECD initiative Sustainable Oceans for All shows that France committed USD 623.1 million in support of the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean in 2021, up from USD 208 million in 2020. The 2021 value is equivalent to 5% of France’s bilateral allocable aid. Learn more about development co-operation in support of a sustainable ocean economy and the data platform on development finance for a sustainable ocean economy.

In 2021, France also:

  • Committed USD 18.2 million of bilateral ODA to the mobilisation of domestic resources in developing countries, amounting to 0.1% of its bilateral allocable aid. Regarding the payment of local tax and custom duties for ODA-funded goods and services, France sometimes requests exemptions on its ODA-funded goods and services in partner countries and territories and makes information available on the OECD Digital Transparency Hub on the Tax Treatment of ODA.

  • Committed USD 4.6 billion (37.1% of its bilateral allocable aid) to promote aid for trade and improve developing countries’ trade performance and integration into the world economy in 2021. France is among the top 10 official providers of aid for trade globally.

  • Committed USD 125.2 million (1% of its bilateral allocable aid) to address the immediate or underlying determinants of malnutrition in developing countries across a variety of sectors, such as maternal health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) or agriculture.

  • Committed USD 7.5 million (0.1% of its bilateral allocable aid) to development co-operation projects and programmes that promote the inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities.

France uses leveraging mechanisms to mobilise private finance for sustainable development. In 2021, the AFD and the French DFI Proparco mobilised USD 2.4 billion from the private sector through direct investment in companies and special purpose vehicles, syndicated loans, shares in collective investment vehicles, credit lines, guarantees, and simple co-financing.

In 2020-21, 75.8% of mobilised private finance by France targeted middle-income countries and 10.3% LDCs and other low-income countries (LICs), noting that 13.9% was unallocated by income. During the same period, the top beneficiary region of this financing was Africa (45.4% of the total).

Mobilised private finance by France in 2020-21 mainly benefited activities in the banking & financial services (51.5%) and industry, mining, and construction (22.6%) sectors. Furthermore, over this period, 37.5% of France’s total mobilised private finance was for climate action.

Learn more about the amounts mobilised from the private sector for development.

In 2021, France’s DFI Proparco, as well as AFD and Stoa, extended USD 2.2 million in the form of private sector instruments. Of this, loans represented 84.2%, whereas equities accounted for 15.6%. Other private sector instruments included bonds (0.2%) and guarantees.

In 2021, USD 145.9 million (6.7%) of France’s private sector instruments were allocated to the LDCs and other LICs, with a majority of 61.9% received by middle-income countries and UMICs in particular (38%). Moreover, USD 677.7 million were unallocated by income.

The top three recipients included Brazil, India and Cambodia, together accounting for 21% of France’s private sector instruments to developing countries in 2021.

In terms of sectoral distribution, 36.5% of France’s private sector instruments were extended in support of projects in the banking and financial services, followed by industry, mining and construction (24.9%) and energy. Health, education and other social sectors received USD 31.4 million through private sector instruments. A share of 33.6% of this financing focused on climate change mitigation and/or adaptation.

France’s ODA budget is made up of 24 separate budget programmes across 13 missions managed by 14 ministries, along with extra-budgetary funds. The institutional set-up consists of: 1) the newly established Development Council, chaired by the President of the Republic and attended by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) and the Minister of the Economy, Finance and the Recovery (MEFR), which takes strategic decisions pertaining to the development policy; 2) the Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID), chaired by the Prime Minister and attended by the Secretary for Development Policy within the MEAE, which sets the general framework for France’s development co-operation and the articulation between the various actors and methods of intervention; 3) the MEAE and the MEFR have competency for implementing the policy; and 4) the French Development Agency Group which, under the joint authority of the MEAE and the MEFR, implements France’s development policy. The group includes the French Development Agency (AFD), which finances the public sector and non-governmental organisations, as well as research and education in sustainable development; its subsidiary Proparco, which is dedicated to private sector financing; and Expertise France, the technical co-operation agency.

The MEAE has more than 1 500 staff working on development co-operation, 83% of which serve abroad. The MEFR has more than 60 staff in its General Directorate of the Treasury working directly on development co-operation (including in development banks). The AFD has more than 2 300 staff, 60% of which are employed at headquarters and 40% in the field.

An important mechanism for consulting stakeholders is the National Council for Development and International Solidarity, which is chaired by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs. The council is consulted on the orientations of France’s development policy and represents diverse stakeholders: non-governmental organisations, economic actors, research institutes and universities, employers, local government, parliamentarians, trade unions, and – a unique feature – non-French experts. CSOs active in development co-operation, humanitarian assistance and global citizenship education co-ordinate through the umbrella body Coordination Sud.

Internal systems and processes help ensure the effective delivery of France’s development co-operation. Select features are shown in the table below.

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation monitoring exercise tracks the implementation of the effectiveness commitments. Following a reform of the exercise during 2020-22, the 4th global monitoring round (2023-26) has resumed. More detailed results for France based on the 2016 and 2018 Monitoring Rounds can be found here. Monitoring profiles for other providers are available here.

2021 OECD-DAC mid-term review:

2018 OECD-DAC peer review of France:

French Development Agency (AFD):

Ministry of Economy and Finance, Treasury:

Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Development Aid:

Programming Act No. 2021-1031 on inclusive development and combating global inequalities:

CSO umbrella body Coordination Sud:

France’s practices on the Development Co-operation TIPs: Tools Insights Practices learning platform:

Member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee since 1960.

The methodological notes provide further details on the definitions and statistical methodologies applied, including the grant-equivalent methodology, core and earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, country programmable aid, channels of delivery, bilateral ODA unspecified/unallocated, bilateral allocable aid, the gender equality policy marker, and the environment markers.


← 1. DAC members adopted the grant-equivalent methodology starting from their reporting of 2019 data as a more accurate way to count the donor effort in development loans. See the methodological notes for further details.

← 2. Non-grants include sovereign loans, multilateral loans, equity investment and loans to the private sector.

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