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Monday, 06 October 2014

French development aid declines

The French development aid budget has been reduced by almost 20% since 2012. France hopes to cover this reduction with a tax on financial transactions, but the yields are uncertain, EurActiv France reports. There is a sense of déjà-vu about the latest announcement about France's aid funding: it has shrunk for the fourth year in a row.

The government has been forced to tighten its budget across the board for 2015, and funding for the development aid programme will continue fall until 2017, the end of Président François Hollande's mandate. This long-term decline in French international aid amounts to a fall of €19.34% (638 million euro) since 2012. The proportion of the 2015 budget dedicated to international aid will fall by 2.8% to 2.79 billion euros. This represents a cut of €80 million since the 2014 budget. As the French development aid fund continues to fall, this difference will reach €210 million by 2017.

This severe cut in funding has provoked strong reactions from NGOs. Friederike Röder, director of ONE France, said that "the development aid programme has suffered almost twice the level of cuts imposed across all the national institutions". "Why focus on a budget that represents less than 1% of France's total national spending and force the poorest populations to pay for our budget deficit?" asked the NGO chief.

Source: euractiv.com