AFD : a French Institution for Cooperation and Aid
France’s bilateral aid efforts find their primary outlet in the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), which is a public industrial and commercial entity and a specialized financial institution combined. France’s development and cooperation policy guides AFD’s actions. At the end of 2010, the government authorized the current policy framework and complemented it in 2011 with a three-year “means and objectives” contract.
► Who are we? [+]
AFD provides funding and technical assistance for development projects and programmes that enhance more sustai-nable and shared economic growth – efforts that improve living conditions for the poorest, work to preserve the envi-ronment, and stabilize countries in fragile situations.
AFD has its headquarters in Paris, an office in Marseilles, and a network of 70 field offices and bureaus in developing and emerging countries and in France’s overseas provinces . This geographic reach allows AFD employees to offer funding, risk analysis and hedging tools, and to tailor its profes-sional training and capacity-building assistance to beneficiaries’ needs.
AFD’s subsidiary, Proparco , provides loans and investment capital to private sector enterprises. AFD works with French and international universities and resear-chers to enhance debate and forward-looking thinking about development. AFD also administers the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM) , which co-funds projects that reconcile development with the environment.
► Whom do we work with? [+]
The AFD Group – that is AFD and Proparco – partners with French organizations having complementary skills and strengths: local governments, companies, professional associations, civil society groups, and so forth. The Group also works with a large range of international partners: European aid agencies, large multilateral development banks, chari-table organizations and foundations, and new donor countries.
AFD responds to aid beneficiaries’ increasingly varied needs and capacities with a large palette of instruments, com-bining its own debt financing with public resources from the French government. AFD can raise financing at the best rates in capital markets, and can design innovative co-funding schemes for economic development and the fight against climate change. AFD leverages its low-cost capital, passing the savings along to loan beneficiaries. The Group’s financial strength ensures optimal use of the public monies entrusted to it for executing French bilateral aid policy.
In 2011, AFD Group approved €6.88 billion in funding, of which €1.1 billion went to France’s overseas provinces. AFD deploys France’s aid monies as grants and loan subsidies, concentrating 60% of it in sub-Saharan African countries – prioritizing the poorest nations – and 20% in North African and Middle Eastern countries bordering the Mediterranean. Middle-income and emerging countries benefit from large loans that use few or no public aid monies; AFD also provi-des these countries with technical assistance, thus expanding cooperative efforts to meet common global challenges.
► How do we work? [+]
AFD strives to adopt the best practices for all its work: incorporating aid effectiveness principles, monitoring and eva-luating the outcomes of interventions, applying safeguards to prevent corruption and money-laundering, and promo-ting social and environmental responsibility in the projects it finances as well as in its own internal operations. AFD pursues ongoing dialogue about the meaning and the results of its development actions with the French parliament, ministries, local governments, businesses and civil society organizations. Last but decidedly not least, AFD keeps the French public informed, raising awareness about development issues and challenges across the globe.
An International Presence
AFD Group finances development projects in more than 90 countries on four continents. The Group boasts a network of 70 in-country field offices and bureaus, including nine offices in France's overseas provinces and one in Brussels. Among the Group's 1,681 employees, 698 work in the field offices.