AFD in Latin America and the Caribbean


Unwanted pregnancies: Action to defend rights


Every year, 80 million women are faced with an unwanted pregnancy. 22 million take the risk of an unsafe abortion: 47,000 lose their lives. Yet all the means are available to avoid these deaths.
Since 2014, Doctors of the World (MdM) has been meeting the needs of women, couples and teenage girls in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Gaza, Haiti and Peru with AFD’s support. These projects are conducted in partnership with local organizations and health authorities.

Unsafe abortions: 3rd leading cause of maternal mortality

While an increasing number of countries are integrating access to contraception as a priority, these efforts do not always lead to an availability of services, and health systems continue to exclude certain categories of women, particularly unmarried women and teenage girls. Unsafe abortions, the 3rd leading cause of maternal mortality, are a public health challenge and seriously hinder economic and social development.

Today, 225 million women who would like to avoid or postpone a pregnancy still do not have access to contraception. Doctors of the World actively supports the right of every woman to use a safe and effective contraceptive method in order to avoid an unwanted pregnancy and have access to a voluntary interruption of pregnancy (VIP) which is without risks and legal, where applicable.    

How to take effective action?

Doctors of the World operates on 3 levels:

1- Strengthening healthcare provision: For example, in Burkina Faso, the health centers in the Djibo district have been equipped with ultrasound scanners, and staff have been trained in how to use them, for instance, to detect fetus malformations and provide access to a termination of pregnancy in this context.

“Abortion is forbidden in Burkina Faso, unless it is a therapeutic abortion […]. The mother’s life is in danger and we try to save the mother […]. There is also hygienic abortion, often when a woman has an ultrasound scan and we see that the child inside has a malformation, in this case we can terminate the pregnancy.”
Midwife, Burkina Faso

2- Informing about sexual and reproductive rights: In Haiti, Doctors of the World works with POZ (Promoters of the Zero AIDS Objective) to run a hotline which aims to facilitate access to information about sexuality and sexuality education services for young people.

“My message is for hospitals who do not receive women who want an abortion, I would like to say to them that all women are women and that it is necessary to receive them […]. I advise all women like me who do not want to get pregnant to use family planning and use a condom.”
Mrs. Y. M, Haiti, February 2016

3- Conducting advocacy to promote and respect sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), focused on access to contraception and safe abortion. For example, last March, a delegation of parliamentarians from Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and DRC participated in the symposium “The Right to Abortion: An Urgent Combat” organized by MdM in Paris.

Mobilizing actors

Guaranteeing access to contraception and medical abortion for all requires the commitment of all actors, starting with governments, which must support policies that defend women’s rights. Efforts must focus as a priority on sexuality education, and especially target young people, access to comprehensive service provision for the prevention and management of unwanted pregnancies, as well as the reduction of stigma and the integration of sociocultural, economic and geographical determinants in order to allow all men and women to make their own choices.

In 2015, Doctors of the World conducted a study on the sociocultural and community determinants of unwanted pregnancies and abortions in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gaza and Peru. A comparative analysis, highlighting the specificities and similarities between the obstacles encountered by young women in the different contexts, is also available here.

El Salvador’s first solar power plant launched: Partnership between PROPARCO, France’s Neoen and Inter-American Development Bank


Proparco , represented by its Chief Executive Officer Grégory Clemente, and ICC (Inter-American Investment Corporation), represented by its Chief Executive Officer James Scriven, have today signed an agreement for the construction and operation of a photovoltaic power plant in El Salvador.

The USD 30m loan agreement for the Providencia Solar joint venture was signed in the presence of Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer of AFD, and the Chief Executive Officer of IDB , Luis Alberto Moreno.

This project combines the expertise of France’s Neoen , El Salvador’s Almaval and Spain’s manufacturer TSK via a joint venture. It will develop the local electricity supply at a competitive cost, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.



Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer of AFD and Luis Alberto Moreno, Chief Executive Officer of IDB

Large-scale solar project

With a total capacity of 100 MWp, the new Providencia Solar power plant will supply electricity equivalent to the annual consumption of 176,000 inhabitants. It will comprise two substations: Antares, a 75 MWp plant, and Spica, a 25 MWp plant. Its commissioning is scheduled for May 2017.
The total project cost is estimated at USD 150m, with USD 30m of financing from Proparco, including a USD 12m AFD subparticipation, USD 57.7m from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and USD 30m from the Canadian Climate Fund syndicated by IDB.

International development of French expertise

Neoen is a young French company, set up in 2008, with recognized technological expertise in renewable energy solutions. It mainly operates in the solar and wind energy sector in France. The company has recently developed Europe’s largest photovoltaic farm, which is located in Cestas in the Gironde region (300 MW).
Proparco’s financing will support the enterprise's international development.

Structuring a new industry in El Salvador

It is El Salvador’s first solar power plant and will diversify the country’s energy mix, which is still highly dependent on fossil fuels (49%). It is estimated that the solar energy generated will replace the equivalent of 163,800 MWh of thermal energy every year, while avoiding annual greenhouse gas emissions by 39,800 tons of CO2.
This project is a major step in El Salvador’s energy transition. It will bring a new technology to the country and structure the solar industry with a view to the development of new projects (150 additional MW planned by 2017). It meets the objective of the Government of El Salvador to produce clean energy and will contribute to the transfer of know-how in a high-potential sector in the country. The initiative will also prepare the public authorities in the renewable energies sector for negotiations with private operators.

Support for local development

The solar power plant, which is located in the La Paz department 40 km from the capital, will contribute to El Salvador’s economic and social development by increasing access to electricity for the population. Furthermore, the communities neighboring the power plant will benefit from major social impacts, as 3% of the income from the Antares power plant will be invested in local development projects.


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