Wednesday, 07 September 2016

Hollande does U-turn, increases French development aid

François Hollande has announced an increase to France’s official development assistance budget for 2017, putting an end to several consecutive years of funding cuts. EurActiv France reports. “France must set the example on development assistance,” the president told an assembly of French ambassadors at a meeting in Paris on Tuesday (30 August). With negotiations on France’s 2017 finance bill looming on the horizon, Hollande promised to increase France’s development spending, which has suffered year-on-year cuts since he began his mandate in 2012. In 2015 the French government presented a slimmed-down development aid budget before backtracking and deciding to allocate a greater proportion of the revenue from the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) to its international solidarity efforts. This year, Paris will once again dip into its FTT revenue to top up the aid pot. “Today, half of the revenue from the Financial Transaction Tax is allocated to tackling climate change. Next year an even greater share of the tax will be spent on these [development] objectives,” Hollande said.