Up to 72 percent of the French public believes that the country’s assistance to developing countries is not a waste of time, according to a survey conducted by IPSOS for the French Development Agency.
The results reflect those from public opinions polls in other donor countries. In the European Union, for instance, its latest Eurobarometer found strong support for the bloc to keep or exceed its commitments to increase aid spending.
French citizens polled were also supportive of increasing (44 percent) or maintaining (33 percent) the country’s level of aid spending. Around 18 percent did say that France should reduce its aid budget.
Public perception of aid effectiveness, however, was somewhat low. At least 70 percent of those surveyed believed that corruption in developing countries helped by France is diminishing the effectiveness of its assistance. A similar percentage added that aid is useful but not sufficient to address complex development challenges.
Meanwhile, on priority regions, the poll found that the French identified sub-Saharan Africa as their preferred top recipient of aid, followed by North Africa and South America.
The majority (56 percent) said they believe fighting poverty should be the main goal of French development programs. This was followed by democracy and human rights, and environment protection.
Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.