France

France is among the top providers of official development assistance (ODA) in volume, with a strong focus on Africa and the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss. France’s priorities include linking the green and social agendas and mobilising finance for sustainable development. France’s total ODA (USD 15.4 billion, preliminary data) decreased in 2023, representing 0.5% of gross national income (GNI).

Find the methodological notes behind the profile here.

France’s policy priorities are defined in the 2021 Law on Inclusive Development and Combating Global Inequalities (Programming Act No. 2021-1031) and the 2023 policy guidelines, which set out ten priority policy objectives: 1) accelerating the phase-out of coal and financing renewable energies; 2) protecting carbon reserves and biodiversity; 3) investing in young people through education; 4) strengthening resilience in the face of health risks; 5) promoting innovation and African entrepreneurship; 6) mobilising expertise and private and public financing for infrastructure; 7) strengthening food sovereignty; 8) supporting human rights; 9) promoting women’s rights; and 10) combating illegal immigration.

France is advocating for strong multilateralism based on the rule of law and 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 women’s equality are also central to France’s policy, including establishing a Support Fund for Feminist Organisations.

Eradicating poverty and combating inequalities are core objectives of France’s development policy, as indicated in France’s Programming Act on Inclusive Development and Combating Global Inequalities and French law. The French Development Agency (AFD) is committed to reducing inequalities through its “100% social link strategy”, focusing on social links between peoples and countries. France considers both vertical and horizontal inequalities with a multidimensional lens, particularly gender-based inequalities. AFD is deepening its evidence base and strengthening programming through the EU-AFD Research Facility on Inequalities, which researches effective policies for reducing inequalities (in collaboration with the European Union) and the Sustainable Development Analysis and Opinion Mechanism, which appraises project alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). France pays particular attention to the links between inequalities, climate and environmental issues.

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 least developed countries (LDCs), and to strengthen its efforts to steer its development co-operation by results. Learn more about France’s 2022 mid-term review [DCD/DAC/AR(2024)3/8]. France’s 2024 peer review will be available on 28 June 2024.

France provided USD 15.4 billion (preliminary data) of ODA in 2023 (USD 14.3 billion in constant terms), representing 0.5% of GNI.1 This was a decrease of 11% in real terms in volume and a decrease in the share of GNI from 2022. ODA measured on a grant equivalent basis has increased every year from 2018 up to 2022. In 2023, France did not meet 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 2022, 64.1% was provided in the form of grants and 35.9% in the form of non-grants.2

France ranks 6th among Development Assistance Committee (DAC) members in terms of ODA volume and 11th among DAC member countries in the ODA/GNI ratio in 2023. France stands out for its high share of country-programmable aid, which represents 63.9% of its gross bilateral ODA. It also stands out for its commitment to environmental, climate, and biodiversity issues, with 61.6% of its total bilateral allocable aid supporting the environment and the Rio Conventions, 40.5% as a principal objective, and 25.3% supporting biodiversity.

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

France provided a higher share of its ODA bilaterally in 2022. Gross bilateral ODA was 64.9% of total ODA disbursements. Five per cent of gross bilateral ODA was channelled through multilateral organisations (earmarked contributions). France allocated 35.1% of the total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2023, France provided USD 112.4 million (preliminary data) of net bilateral ODA to Ukraine to respond to the impacts of Russia's war of aggression, a 79.2% decrease from 2022 in real terms. USD 79.5 million of the amount was allocated to humanitarian assistance in 2023, a 31.3% increase from 2022.

In 2022, France provided USD 7.8 billion of gross ODA to the multilateral system, an increase of 15.8% in real terms from 2021. Of this, USD 7.1 billion was core multilateral ODA, while USD 683.7 million was non-core contributions earmarked for a specific country, region, theme or purpose. Project-type funding earmarked for a specific theme and/or country accounted for 60.7% of France's non-core contributions, and 39.3% was programmatic funding (to pooled funds and specific-purpose programmes and funds).

Eighty-nine per cent of France's total contributions to multilateral organisations in 2022 were allocated to EU Institutions, other multilateral institutions (mainly the Green Climate Fund, the IMF and the Global Fund), and the World Bank.

The United Nations (UN) system received 12% of France's multilateral contributions, of which USD 195.2 million (20.8%) represented earmarked contributions. Out of a total volume of USD 936.9 million to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of France's support (core and earmarked contributions) were the WFP (USD 169.5 million), UNITAID (USD 135.1 million) and UNHCR (USD 95.6 million).

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

In 2022, France's bilateral spending increased compared to the previous year. It provided USD 13.2 billion of gross bilateral ODA (which includes earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations). This represented an increase of 12.3% in real terms from 2021.

In 2022, country programmable aid was 63.9% of France's gross bilateral ODA, compared to the DAC country average of 42%. In-donor refugee costs were USD 1.5 billion in 2022, an increase of 44.7% in real terms over 2021, and represented 11.6% of France's total gross bilateral ODA.

In 2022, France channelled bilateral ODA mainly through the public sector. Technical co-operation made up 9.1% of gross ODA in 2022.

In 2022, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 783.8 million of gross bilateral ODA, of which 9.9% was directed to CSOs based in developing countries. Overall, less than 1 per cent of gross bilateral ODA was allocated to CSOs as core contributions and 5.6% was channelled through CSOs to implement projects initiated by the donor (earmarked funding). From 2021 to 2022, the combined core and earmarked contributions for CSOs increased as a share of bilateral ODA, from 5.5% to 6%. Learn more about the DAC Recommendation on Enabling Civil Society in Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid.

In 2022, France's bilateral ODA was primarily focused on Africa. USD 5.4 billion was allocated to Africa, accounting for 41% of gross bilateral ODA, which is in line with policy priorities. USD 1.4 billion was allocated to Asia, and the same volume was allocated to the Americas. Africa was also the main regional recipient of France's earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2022, 30.6% of gross bilateral ODA went to France's top 10 recipients. Only one country, Senegal, was part of a list of 19 priority countries in 2022 before France decided to phase out priority countries in 2023. The share of gross bilateral ODA not allocated by country was 27.8%, of which 41.9% consisted of expenditures for processing and hosting refugees in provider countries.

In 2022, France allocated 0.12% of its GNI to the least developed countries. France allocated the highest share of gross bilateral ODA (30.5%) to lower middle-income countries in 2022, noting that 27.8% was unallocated by income group. The LDCs received 16.2% of France's gross bilateral ODA (USD 2.1 billion). Additionally, France allocated 10.1% of gross bilateral ODA to land-locked developing countries in 2022, equal to USD 1.3 billion.

Support to fragile contexts was USD 3.4 billion in 2022, representing 25.9% of France's gross bilateral ODA. Five per cent of this ODA was provided in the form of humanitarian assistance, increasing from 1% in 2021, while 9.8% was allocated to peace, increasing from 4% in 2021. Learn more about support to fragile contexts on the States of Fragility platform.

In 2022, the largest focus of France's bilateral ODA was social infrastructure and services. Investments in this area accounted for 33% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 5.1 billion), with a strong focus on support to government & civil society (USD 1.9 billion) and education (USD 1.4 billion). USD 777.2 million was committed to health and population in 2022, accounting for 5% of gross bilateral ODA and a 14.3% decrease from 2019 in real terms. Economic infrastructure and services amounted to USD 4.4 billion (28.8% of bilateral ODA). ODA for other sectors totalled USD 3.3 billion, with close to half focusing on refugees in donor countries (USD 1.5 billion). Earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations focused primarily on social sectors in 2022.

In 2022, France disbursed USD 683 million in ODA for the COVID-19 response, down from USD 1.1 billion in 2021. Regarding COVID-19 vaccines, France provided USD 268 million in ODA for donations of doses to developing countries in 2022, down 7.9% from USD 290.9 million in 2021. All COVID-19 vaccines accounted for donations of doses from domestic supply in 2022.

In the period 2021-22, France committed 46.8% of its screened bilateral allocable aid to gender equality and women's empowerment, as either a principal or significant objective (up from 42.3% in 2019-20), compared with the 2021-22 DAC average of 43.3%. This is equal to USD 4.7 billion of bilateral ODA in support of gender equality. Unpacking the gender equality data further:

  • The share of screened bilateral allocable aid committed to gender equality and women's empowerment as a principal objective was 5.9% in 2021-22, compared with the DAC average of 3.9%.

  • France includes gender equality objectives in 8.9% of its ODA for humanitarian aid, below the 2021-22 DAC average of 17%.

  • France screens the majority of their bilateral allocable aid activities against the DAC gender equality policy marker (79.3% in 2021-22).

  • France committed USD 14.7 million of ODA to end violence against women and girls and USD 144.8 million to support women's rights organisations and movements and government institutions in 2021-22.

Learn more about Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls: DAC Guidance for Development Partners and the DAC Recommendation on Ending Sexual Exploitation in Development Co-operation.

In 2021-22, France committed 61.6% of its total bilateral allocable aid (USD 7.3 billion) in support of the environment and the Rio Conventions (the DAC average was 35.1%), down from 71% in 2019-20. Unpacking the environmental data further:

  • Forty-one per cent of screened bilateral allocable aid focused on environmental issues as a principal objective, compared with the DAC average of 11%.

  • Fity-six per cent of total bilateral allocable aid (USD 6.6 billion) focused on climate change overall, up from 51.8% in 2019-20 (the DAC average was 30.5%). France had a greater focus on adaptation (57.1%) than on mitigation (48.8%) in 2021-22.

  • Twenty-five per cent of screened bilateral allocable aid (USD 2.3 billion) focused on biodiversity overall, up from 3.3% in 2019-20 (the DAC average was 7.2%).

Learn more about the DAC Declaration on Aligning Development Co-operation with the Goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change [DAC/CHAIR(2021)1/FINAL].

The OECD initiative Sustainable Oceans for All shows that France committed USD 169.3 million in support of the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean in 2022, USD 401.8 million less than in 2021. The 2022 value is equivalent to 1.4% of France's bilateral allocable aid.

In 2022, France also:

  • Committed USD 11.6 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 customs 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 5.2 billion (42.4% of its bilateral allocable aid) to promote aid for trade and improve developing countries' trade performance and integration into the world economy. France is among the top 10 official providers of aid for trade globally.

  • Committed USD 170.3 million (1.4% of its bilateral allocable aid) to address the immediate or underlying determinants of malnutrition in developing countries across a variety of sectors, such as health, emergency response and agriculture, forestry, and fishing.

  • Committed USD 1.8 million 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 2022, AFD and Proparco mobilised USD 2.2 billion from the private sector through credit lines, guarantees, shares in collective investment vehicles, direct investment in companies and special purpose vehicles, syndicated loans and simple co-financing. This constituted an 8% decrease compared to 2021.

A share of 68.3% targeted middle-income countries and 14.2% the LDCs and other low-income countries (LICs) in 2021-22, noting that 17.5% was unallocated by income.

Mobilised private finance by France in 2021-22 related mainly to activities in Banking & Financial Services (60.8%), as its top sector. Furthermore, over this period, 35.4% of France's total mobilised private finance was for climate action.

In 2022, AFD, Proparco and Stoa extended USD 1.7 billion in private sector instruments (PSI) to developing countries. Of this, loans accounted for 77.4%, whereas equities represented 22.6%.

In 2022, USD 258.3 million (15.6%) of France's private sector instruments were allocated to the LDCs and other LICs, while a majority (63.6%) went to middle-income countries and UMICs in particular (41.3%). Moreover, USD 343.3 million were unallocated by income. France's private sector instruments primarily supported projects in banking and financial services (42.9%) and industry, mining and construction (23.5%).

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation monitoring exercise tracks the implementation of the effectiveness commitments. Following the reform of the exercise during 2020-22, the 4th global monitoring round (2023-26) has resumed. Information on partner countries' participation in the exercise, as well as their progress, can be followed at the Global Dashboard. France's results from the 2016 and 2018 monitoring rounds can be found here.

To help improve the transparency of development co-operation, the OECD provides regular feedback to members on the overall quality of their statistical reporting and works with each member to ensure the data meet high-quality standards before they are published. Regarding DAC/CRS reporting to the OECD, France's reporting in 2022 was on time, with room to improve in terms of the completeness and accuracy of the data.

Total official support for sustainable development (TOSSD) is an international statistical standard that monitors all official and officially supported resources for financing the SDGs in developing countries, as well as for addressing global challenges. It provides a broad measure of development finance to increase transparency and accountability of all external support that developing countries receive. In 2022, activities reported by France as TOSSD totalled USD 40 billion, up from USD 38.2 billion in 2021, and France's TOSSD activities mostly targeted SDG 16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels and SDG 4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Activity-level data on TOSSD by recipient are available at https://tossd.online.

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 Presidential Development Council, chaired by the President of the Republic and attended by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) and the Minister of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty (MEFSIN), which takes strategic decisions pertaining to the development policy; 2) the Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development, 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 MEFSIN have competency for implementing the policy; and 4) the AFD Group which, under the joint authority of the MEAE and the MEFSIN, implements France’s development policy. The group includes 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 whom serve abroad. The MEFSIN has more than 60 staff members in its General Directorate of the Treasury working directly on development co-operation (including in development banks). AFD has more than 2 300 staff, 60% of whom are employed at headquarters and 40% in partner countries.

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 non-French experts. CSOs are active in development co-operation, humanitarian assistance and global citizenship education co-ordinate under 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.

2021 OECD-DAC mid-term review of France: DCD/DAC/AR(2024)3/8

French Development Agency (AFD): https://www.afd.fr/fr

Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty: https://www.tresor.economie.gouv.fr/Ressources/aide-au-developpement

Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Development Aid: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/politique-etrangere-de-la-france/aide-au-developpement

2023 guidelines for international cooperation policy and official development assistance: orientations_cle017322.pdf (diplomatie.gouv.fr)

Programming Act No. 2021-1031 on inclusive development and combating global inequalities: https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/jorf/id/JORFTEXT000043898536/

CSO umbrella body Coordination Sud: https://www.coordinationsud.org

France's practices on the Development Co-operation TIPs: Tools Insights Practices learning platform: https://www.oecd.org/development-cooperation-learning?tag-key+partner=france#search

Member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) 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.

Notes

← 1. DAC members adopted the grant-equivalent methodology starting from their reporting of 2018 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.

Disclaimers

This work is published under the responsibility of the Secretary-General of the OECD. The opinions expressed and arguments employed herein do not necessarily reflect the official views of the Member countries of the OECD.

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area.

The statistical data for Israel are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant Israeli authorities. The use of such data by the OECD is without prejudice to the status of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank under the terms of international law.

Note by the Republic of Türkiye
The information in this document with reference to “Cyprus” relates to the southern part of the Island. There is no single authority representing both Turkish and Greek Cypriot people on the Island. Türkiye recognises the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Until a lasting and equitable solution is found within the context of the United Nations, Türkiye shall preserve its position concerning the “Cyprus issue”.

Note by all the European Union Member States of the OECD and the European Union
The Republic of Cyprus is recognised by all members of the United Nations with the exception of Türkiye. The information in this document relates to the area under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.

Corrigenda to OECD publications may be found on line at: www.oecd.org/about/publishing/corrigenda.htm.

© OECD 2024

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at https://www.oecd.org/termsandconditions.