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Thursday, 11 July 2013

France - must ensure that poor countries get the aid they need

On 5th of July, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released new data according to which, in 2012, France’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) was USD 12.1 billion (or 0.46% of French Gross National Income - GNI), under the 0.7% ODA/GNI ratio, to which it has committed together with other rich countries under the Millennium Development Goals.
This sum makes France the 4th largest member of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee in terms of the volume of aid.

OECD’s review of French aid praises the country’s overall development strategy and its engagement at the global level to promote it, including innovative financing. According to the OECD, France focuses in particular on health, environment and climate change, mobilises private investments and promotes greater transparency in international financial transactions.

The review recommends, however, that France do more to support civil society organisations and gender equality, and to build stronger capacity for developing countries to manage their own futures. France could also do more to monitor the results of its development efforts, the review reads.
Another recommendation is that, as many other actors and numerous budget lines are involved in the aid programme, France reduce its transaction costs by rationalising the institutional system.
More, it appears that only 0,9% of French ODA is devoted to humanitarian aid, a much lower sum than most other donors.
Another factor of possible concern is that in the last period France has shifted towards providing fewer grants, and more loans. This last ones usually support the productive sectors and action to counter climate change in middle income countries.

According to the European Commission, in 2012, out of the 27 EU countries, only Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, and the Netherlands had already met the 0.7% GNI target.

Source: OECD