The Education CoalitionAide et Action is a member of the French government and is launching an advocacy campaign alongside six other organizations to remind France of its responsibilities towards poor countries, particularly following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019, less than half the world's population had access to health services. 258 million children were still excluded from education and 690 million people were suffering from hunger. Yet in September 2015, 193 countries, including France, committed to building a more just, sustainable world without inequality by 2030. It has to be said that this objective is more of a pipe dream, especially as the VID-19 pandemic and its dramatic economic and social consequences have undoubtedly worsened the situation.
COVID has set back access to basic services
It is already estimated that 24 million children will not return to school as a result of the pandemic due to increased poverty and that an additional 270 million people will be critically hungry by the end of the year, an increase of 82 % since 2019 as a result of the pandemic. In other words, by the end of the year, between 6,000 and 12,000 people could starve to death every day as a result of the economic and social impacts of the pandemic, potentially more than the number of people killed by the virus by the end of 2024. COVID-19 has further drastically reduced access to essential basic services, especially in the poorest countries and for the most vulnerable populations. For the first time in history, the world could be tipped over the edge and the hard-won development gains could be lost forever.
NGOs and Coalitions mobilise to remind France of its responsibilities!
Faced with such a crisis, Action contre la Faim, Action Santé Mondiale, the Water Coalition, One, Oxfam and Solidarité Sida, as well as the Education Coalition, of which Aide et Action is a member, are launching the "Development aid: what if we started from the bottom up?". The aim is to remind France of its responsibilities towards the poorest countries and to ask it to strengthen the social impact of its development aid. To date, France has never respected its commitment to allocate 0.7% of GDP to its Official Development Assistance. It has certainly increased it over the years but the share of ODA allocated to essential services has stagnated or decreased. At present the programming law on solidarity development and the fight against global inequalities (LOP-DSLIM), which will set France's development policy until 2025, has been repeatedly postponed. However, given the severity of the crisis, it is imperative that the bill is presented to the Council of Ministers and that it makes universal and equitable access to basic social services a political and financial priority.
For more information, see the campaign positioning document "Development aid: what if we started at the grassroots?