Policy Context

Despite France’s status as the third-largest donor to sanitation, the topic receives relatively low attention.

While the CICID established France’s International Strategy for Water and Sanitation (2020-2023), WASH has declined as a priority. The 2021 Development Law highlighted the improvement of water management and sanitation as one of 6 development objectives. However, since the establishment of the law, WASH has not been a prominent priority. The development council communiqué, released in May 2023, and the July 2023 CICID Conclusions did not include WASH as one of 10 priorities for development policy.

The Strategy for Water and Sanitation (2020-2023) declares WASH as a human right. Sanitation is also referenced as foundational to supporting health, gender equality, education access, and food security. Despite WASH and sanitation being explained at the nexus of both health and gender, documents from other sectors do not mention WASH. For example, in France’s Global Health Strategy (2023-2027), WASH is mentioned only in reference to SDG 6 “Clean water and sanitation for all”. France's gender equality strategy which ended in 2022, mentioned only access to drinking water, not sanitation.

How is France’s bilateral ODA to WASH evolving?

France’s ODA to wash has declined since 2017.

How is France’s bilateral ODA to sanitation evolving?

In 2021, France’s ODA for sanitation totaled US$191 million. Funding for sanitation appears to fluctuate on a two-year cycle.

How does France allocate bilateral sanitation ODA?

France provides the majority of its ODA to sanitation in loans. These loans are typically tied to infrastructure investments in large systems, reflecting the country’s focus on large and sewered sanitation systems. Basic sanitation receives a small share of France’s sanitation funding. Water supply related to sanitation funding receives large amounts of funding, reflecting France’s explicit focus on water as opposed to sanitation. France focuses its sanitation funding on SSA and particular, francophone Africa, reflecting its overarching approach to development cooperation.

Key Bodies

Related Publications

A new era of development assistance: Key takeaways from the G7 summit

Looking for a cross donor perspective?

Learn more about SEEK's work on wash & sanitation

Our Experts

Maura Kitchens West

Maura Kitchens West

Our Experts

Maura Kitchens West

Maura Kitchens West

Explore other deep-dives