France mobilized for Africa.

France has decided to mobilize all the means at its disposal to help Africa fight effectively against the virus and withstand the economic shock. With official development assistance amounting to €10.9 billion, distributed through both bilateral and multilateral channels, we are the world’s fifth-largest donor. It should be recalled in this regard that France is the second largest contributor of European Union Member States to the European Development Fund (EDF). We are pursuing the upward trajectory of resources allocated to official development assistance set by President Emmanuel Macron in 2017. This money must benefit Africa as a priority, and half of it must go to Africa.

It is within this framework that France has redirected a significant part of its programming to respond to the covid-19 crisis in Africa. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, announced on 8 April this year the immediate deployment of €1.2 billion in bilateral resources to combat the spread of covid-19, with priority being given to African countries.
At the bilateral level, Agence Française de Développement (AFD) has created an initiative dedicated to covid-19 with €1 billion in loans and €150 million in grants. This initiative, which is overwhelmingly targeted at Africa, focuses on health response, strengthening epidemiological surveillance capacities and financing national pandemic response plans.

Our research network, composed mainly of the Institut Pasteur and the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), is funded by the French government to support research in Africa. The Pasteur network is at the heart of research, particularly in Dakar where it is a regional reference in the response to the crisis. France’s position in this field is unquestionably one of the leading in the world. Our public and private operators in the field of health are well established and are forging strong partnerships with local players in order to provide valuable assistance to African experts.

At the multilateral level, we have advocated in all international organizations for a reorientation of all available means towards the response to covid-19. France is already the second largest contributor to the Global Fund to fight the pandemics of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis (a total of €1.12 billion in 2017-2019), and the largest contributor to Unitaid (€255 million for 2020-2022). These two institutions play a crucial role in the fight against covid-19, in the research effort on the one hand, and in vaccination and treatment distribution strategies on the other, once therapies and vaccines become available. It is also the 6th largest contributor to the World Health Organization.
France is also working tirelessly within European institutions to enshrine the African priority in the European Union-funded response to covid-19 in developing countries. This commitment led on 8 April to the announcement of the release of €15.6 billion. We are devoting considerable resources to financing European capacities for action, with €5.4 billion invested between 2014 and 2020 in European development funds, largely dedicated to Africa.

Since the beginning of the crisis, President Emmanuel Macron has been personally committed to bringing about a moratorium on African debt. On 14 April, within the framework of the Paris Club and the G20 (including China), a moratorium on the interest on the debt of the poorest countries was established. Angola is one of the 40 African countries concerned. Out of a total debt service of €32 billion, France has pleaded for a moratorium on more than €20 billion. France, for its part, is assuming an estimated €1 billion in debt deferral.

Moreover, France is endeavouring, in these difficult times, to avoid the many pitfalls that could hinder its action on the African continent. In particular, it is essential to avoid crowding out the other central themes of our development cooperation, namely the fight against other pandemics, education, the fight against food insecurity, the fight against climate change and the preservation of biodiversity. This crisis is resolutely multidimensional. We must therefore ensure that its impact on future generations remains limited and that it does not transform fragility into a systemic crisis.

Finally, it is essential to insist on the need for a multilateral response to this crisis, which alone can be on the right scale. That is why the WHO plays a central role in the current context and it is up to all members of the international community to ensure that all international organizations, of which the WHO is an essential element, can continue their mission far from any controversy or particular influence. It is only through a collective and united effort that we will defeat this pandemic and put the world economy back at the service of human progress.

France has granted Zambia emergency medical aid of 150,000 euros.

Last updated on: 5 May 2020