Latin America and the Caribbean

The Latin America and Caribbean region has two challenges to address: climate change and urbanization. AFD operates under a mandate which combines environmental protection, economic development and the fight against inequalities.
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panorama sur la ville de Medellín depuis le quartier de La Sierra, Colombie
AFD, LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN: RECONCILING ECONOMIC GROWTH, SOCIAL COHESION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
City of Medellín, Colombia

Supporting urban development and strengthening social cohesion

BRT line in Curitiba, Brazil

SUPPORTING URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND STRENGTHENING SOCIAL COHESION

Latin America is faced with a paradox: it is the most urbanized continent in the world, but is significantly lagging behind in terms of infrastructure compared to other emerging regions. The transport sector is in particular underdeveloped. Yet mobility issues are closely related to development: public transport facilitates access to employment and essential services and reduces inequalities. There is also an ecological bonus: it reduces noise pollution and particle emissions.

To address these shortcomings, AFD develops strategies which take urban issues into account as a whole, from infrastructure to social cohesion. For example, we are financing the construction of the metro in Santo Domingo, sustainable mobility projects in Curitiba, in Brazil, and an even more ambitious project, the transformation of Medellin, in Colombia, in the city. We also focus on partnerships between local and French actors (local authorities, companies) who provide technical assistance.

Fighting against climate change and protecting the environment

City of Medellín, Colombia

FIGHTING AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE AND PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT

The ecological issue poses a major challenge in Latin America. The intensification of agricultural production, urbanization, and the development of industrial activities seriously deplete the continent’s environmental capital which is, however, very rich. Consequently, national governments and local authorities are today seeking to reconcile the exploitation of natural resources and environmental protection.

AFD is assisting them in their action. Our operations especially focus on improving water management in a sustainable and equitable manner (sanitation, modernization of distribution networks, etc.). This is what our action is all about in Colombia, for example. The country has abundant water resources, but they are poorly distributed nationwide. The lack of water near cities is exacerbated by its poor quality when it is distributed and leads to conflicts between users.

We also focus on the fight against climate change, which affects the continent, and biodiversity conservation. It is worth noting that Latin American countries are major actors in the international climate negotiations (Peru hosted COP20 in 2014). We assist them in the implementation of their contributions to the Paris Agreement (NDCs).

11
countries of operation
70%
of projects have a positive impact on the climate
EUR 6.8bn
committed between 2009 and 2016

Latin America is the most urbanized continent in the world. Consequently, issues related to sustainable cities, which combine urban development, social cohesion and environmental protection, are central to the action of national governments and local authorities. The climate challenge has been added to the programs which are already being implemented.

AFD operates in Latin America and the Caribbean under a mandate for “green and inclusive growth”. This means that we assist our partners along a path of economic development which benefits vulnerable populations and is compatible with the protection of the environment and natural resources. In the Caribbean, we also support regional integration.

Our activity in the region is based on strong historical, linguistic and cultural ties, and leads to a regular political dialogue, as well as a number of technical and academic exchanges. We have close relations with local authorities and local development banks (national and regional).

Our operations on the continent started in Haiti (1976) and we very recently started operating in Argentina (2017). We are today active in the entire region, with FFEM (French Facility for Global Environment), PROPARCO (our private sector financing arm) and the NGOs we finance.

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Evaluation document

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