Poverty is not just about a lack of income, it is about malnutrition, limited access to education and health, and social exclusion. Consequently, the vast majority of the projects we finance fall within the scope of this SDG. Our priority: support the most disadvantaged, marginalized and excluded populations (women, children, refugees, people with disabilities, young people).
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Andriantany Canal © Cyril Le Tourneur D'Ison / AFD
Andriantany Canal © Cyril Le Tourneur D'Ison / AFD

Establishing social protection for all

health center, women, Ryad, waiting room, Dowgui

Establishing social protection for all

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development makes social protection a priority vehicle for eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities and promoting human development.

While almost 100% of people benefit from a social protection system in most industrialized countries, the situation is much less favorable in the rest of the world. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that over 50% of the world’s population does not benefit from any social protection, while 70% of the world’s population does not have appropriate coverage. 

It is for this reason that a number of developing countries have made social protection one of their priorities. Protection systems are gradually being set up to allow each individual or household to deal with the consequences of the occurrence of a risk throughout their lifetime: illness, old age, unemployment, disability, accidents at work, etc. 

AFD helps its partners design and set up social protection systems, supports social assistance programs (financed by taxes), and strengthens both public and private social insurance mechanisms. 

Ensuring access to home ownership for all

Lataniers, Saint-Benoit, houses, Marchal, Réunion

Ensuring access to home ownership for all

Explosive urban growth, housing shortages, the lack of access to credit for residents, the development of precarious housing… Access to safe and affordable housing has become a challenge for low-income populations in a number of cities.  

AFD works to support sustainable social housing and access to decent housing for the poorest via a number of projects. These projects improve living conditions and the integration of populations into their economic and social environment.

For example, we are supporting the South African Government’s housing policy with projects located in various cities in the country (Cape Town, Johannesburg, Glenridge, etc.) in order to improve the provision of affordable housing for all.  

In Peru, we are supporting the financing of housing for low and middle-income populations, by focusing on sustainable social housing.

Scaling up access to basic services

Kenya, school, Angira, kids, Coleman

Scaling up access to basic services

Access to education, drinking water and an improved sanitation network, to affordable high-quality healthcare, to reliable low-cost energy: every year, AFD commits to projects which make a real improvement to the daily lives of people and promote their well-being. 

Some examples:

•    In Côte d’Ivoire, AFD is supporting an extensive education for all program, by focusing on education for girls. It is working alongside the Senegalese Ministry of Education to improve conditions for the reception and success of students. This will result in more social cohesion and equality.

•    We have contributed to providing better quality drinking water in sufficient quantity to 18,000 residents in the Ramallah Governorate and are supporting an innovative community-based water management system in Kinshasa.

•    In Madagascar, AFD has helped improve the health system by giving priority to the most vulnerable populations and has promoted access to essential drugs. AFD is also supporting the Aga Khan Health Service in Tanzania (AKHST) in order to improve its health network, in Dar Es Salaam and nationwide. 

•    In the energy sector, we have financed the largest solar power plant in West Africa in Zagtouli, which will supply an electricity 4 times cheaper than the electricity curre

Increasing financial inclusion

financiary inclusion, computing woman, Dowgui

Increasing financial inclusion

Financial inclusion is a key factor for development. AFD supports financial institutions to make it more effective. 

Between 2004 and 2016, 70 projects were financed. They have supported the financing of income-generating activities in rural areas and in the agriculture sector and have set up innovative initiatives to finance housing and sanitation, or in the education and health sectors (such as the development of health microinsurance). 

For example, we have developed mobile banking in Madagascar to offer financial services adapted to populations excluded from the traditional system. To facilitate access to credit, we are also supporting a number of microfinance institutions, such as ACEP Niger. We also take action in rural areas: thanks to the AGREENFI program, AFD is assisting Crédit Agricole du Maroc in the allocation of customized financing to promote access to appropriate banking services for farmers. 

Reducing vulnerabilities

Tunisia, education, women, Le Gall

Reducing vulnerabilities

AFD has decided to make the fight against vulnerabilities and the response to crises one of the structural areas of its activity. It involves increasingly investing in anticipation and action prior to crises, meaning in reducing economic, social, environmental and institutional weaknesses. The objective: prevent shocks or continuous deteriorations in a situation from turning into crises.

To fight against phenomena which fragment societies, we now give priority to economic, social, political and cultural inclusion and respect for rights in all our actions. Indeed, the inclusion of young people, women and marginalized populations and the implementation of a participatory approach at all levels are key issues for building more just and more peaceful societies.

For example, AFD is supporting a project in Lebanon by the European Institute for Cooperation and Development (IECD) and the NGO Semeurs d’Avenir (SDA), which contributes to rapidly improving living conditions for vulnerable Lebanese populations and refugees via access to employment. 
In the Diffa region in Niger, we are financing a project to promote social cohesion, the creation of incomes and socio-professional integration in order to tackle the sense of exclusion among young people and improve their prospects. 

of the world’s population does not benefit from any social protection

Over 800 million people around the world, i.e. the equivalent of the entire European population, live on less than 1.25 dollars a day and struggle to meet their most basic needs (health, education, access to water…). South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are home to 70% of people living in extreme poverty. To end extreme poverty around the world in 20 years, the economist Jeffrey Sachs has calculated that the total annual cost would stand at some USD 175bn. This amounts to less than 1% of the combined revenues of the richest countries in the world.

The fight against poverty is one of the guidelines for AFD’s mandate in its countries of operation. It includes the themes addressed in all the other Sustainable Development Goals, hence its multidimensional nature. Its specificity lies in the fact that the focus is on extreme poverty, on the poorest who find themselves on the margins of society and are de facto excluded from the system. It involves implementing tools to specifically reach these populations, such as microcredit for example. These tools will allow them to escape from exclusion.

In 2016, AFD’s financing reached EUR 9.4bn. The vast majority of funded projects contribute to poverty reduction. It is a priority for the Group. 

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