AFD in Syria

The establishment of an AFD office in Damascus has been effective since mid-September 2009. The installation process of the agency, initiated in 2003, restarted following both governments’ request on 28th August 2008, in time for the visit of President Sarkozy in Damascus.


Agence Française de Développement’s 2014 Results: Over EUR 8 billion for a more equitable and more sustainable world


Anne Paugam, Chief Executive Officer of AFD, today presented the key figures for the activity in 2014 of the central actor in France’s Official Development Assistance. With EUR 8.1 billion of commitments, up 4%, AFD has achieved another historic year for its activities to support a more equitable and more sustainable world.

AFD’s mandate is central to the challenge of the coming years, which is to bring about new development models that ensure both the prosperity of the whole of the world’s population and preserve the planet. We contribute to this by tailoring our actions to the needs of partner countries”, explained Anne Paugam, Chief Executive Officer of AFD.

AFD is a public institution that implements France’s policy for development financing. It operates on four continents, in over 90 countries and in the French overseas territories, and works on a daily basis to meet its partners’ requirements. This results in investments in human capital, support for the private sector, financing for public transport projects, and assistance for the public policies of both governments and territorial authorities, in order to promote more equitable and more sustainable development trajectories.

AFD addresses the challenges of climate change, the impacts of which concern the entire planet, by showing on a daily basis that there are concrete solutions that reconcile climate and development. In 2014, 53% of AFD’s financing for development in developing countries generated positive impacts for the fight against climate change and 30% for PROPARCO, its private sector financing arm.

Concrete impacts

AFD’s actions bring about concrete impacts. Between 2012 and 2014, ongoing projects have:

  • Got 2 million children into primary and secondary school;
  • Improved housing for 2.3 million people;
  • Provided 2.7 million people with access to a sustainable source of drinking water;
  • Assisted the development of 246,000 small businesses;
  • Supported 771,000 family farms;
  • Preserved and sustainably managed 32 million hectares of natural spaces allowing biodiversity conservation.



Historic year for the climate: 53% of financing

In 2014, 53% of AFD’s financing for development in developing countries and almost 30% of its subsidiary PROPARCO’s financing for the private sector also had positive impacts on the fight against climate change as part of one of the most ambitious climate strategies among international development finance institutions, which was established at the request of the French Government. In 2014, it accounted for over EUR 2.8bn of financial commitments, including EUR 2.53bn for AFD. Since 2005, EUR 18bn have been earmarked by AFD for projects that reconcile development and climate.






AFD’s first climate bonds

For the first time, AFD has issued climate bonds with a 10-year maturity. They will finance projects that contribute to development, but also to the fight against climate change.
This EUR 1bn “climate” bond issue is the first of its kind conducted by a French public agency. It marks a new trend in the design of financial instruments to support the transition towards a low-carbon economy. Through its rigorous and innovative methodology, based on a systematic assessment of the carbon footprint of funded projects, AFD is seeking to demonstrate to financiers that it is possible to channel part of international finance towards “climate” assets.



Sub-Saharan Africa: Record commitments

In 2014, financing in Sub-Saharan Africa reached the record volume of EUR 2.95bn, i.e. 36.5% of AFD Group’s total financing (45% of financing in foreign countries). Through this strong commitment, which is in line with the objective set by the French President to provide EUR 20bn of financing to the continent by 2018, AFD aims to support the emergence of Africa in its growth trajectories. The projects supported by AFD provide access to essential services, develop sustainable cities, family farming, preserve natural resources, and build infrastructure and job-creating enterprises.







Crises: Specific intervention methods and tools

In Mali, the Central African Republic, Guinea… in countries in armed conflict or recently emerged from conflict, AFD has tailored its operating methods and tools to the specificity of these contexts. The aim is to be more responsive and work more effectively with the different partners and actors of emergency relief and development. Key projects in 2014 include:
Ebola: a new treatment center was set up in the Guinea Forest Region thanks to a EUR 5m grant via a Debt Reduction-Development Contract
Bêkou Fund: this fund, with EUR 64m at the end of 2014, was created on the initiative of AFD. It allows European donors to pool their financing in order to support the crisis management and subsequent post-crisis process in CAR. It aims to recreate essential services, contribute to economic development and promote stability in the country and sub-region.



►Summary of 2014 activity results

AFD and CIRAD launch Climate Challenge, an international competition on agricultural and forestry innovation to address climate change


Call for projects launched at Convergences World Forum on 8, 9 and 10 September 2014

Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (Cirad) have launched the first international competition « Climate Challenge Agriculture and Forestry », which promotes agricultural and forestry innovation to address climate change.

Anne Paugam, Chief Executive Officer of AFD, and Michel Eddi, Chairman of CIRAD presented this competition on 9 September 2014 during the 7th edition of the Convergences World Forum, which gathers public, private and solidarity-based actors who are working to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Agence Française de Développement and Cirad have launched the competition “Climate Challenge Agriculture and Forestry” because climate change poses a major challenge to agriculture and a threat to both world food security and poverty eradication. AFD is particularly active in supporting developing countries in the fight against climate change. For Cirad, the topic of climate change has been central to the research it has been conducting for over 15 years with its partners in the South, with the aim of adapting agriculture in these countries to this major constraint.

This international competition aims to promote innovation and fast track the transfer and dissemination of technologies and knowledge, which are essential in bringing about innovative solutions to be devised for the future. It will support the creativity and success of exemplary projects, led by candidates from Africa, the Mediterranean, Asia, Latin America and the French Overseas : individual actors, farmers’ organizations, financial institutions, actors from the economic and social sectors, local authorities and territories.

It highlights four categories of project :

  • Climate change mitigation in agriculture and livestock farming
  • Climate change mitigation in the forestry sector
  • Substitution and processing of agricultural and forestry products
  • Adaptation to climate change and water resources management


Projects must be submitted by 1 December 2014 on the website dedicated to the competition,, via the online application interface.


Innovation: A new approach to mobilizing actors

Technical, methodological and operational innovations that create new local dynamics, as well as actions to build inclusive economies, will be promoted. They allow actors and family farms to adapt their practices to climate change, while ensuring that their standard of living and quality of life improve.


150 preselected applications, 12 major projects selected, 4 award winners

150 of the projects submitted will be selected on the basis of the impact their innovation has on climate change, their feasibility, viability, and the possibility of replicating them, as well as their utility and overall coherence. A Selection Committee composed of experts from the development sector will select 12 major innovations, which will be transferred to the final jury.

« This competition provides an opportunity to mobilize and pool energies from the North and South for innovative methods that need to be implemented to support sustainable development. Agriculture and forestry are two key sectors. They are vectors of innovation to address climate change and provide solutions to the major challenge of world food security. It is for this reason that I am extremely pleased to launch Climate Challenge in partnership with Cirad » says Anne Paugam, Chief Executive Officer of Agence Française de Développement (AFD)..

« This competition provides the opportunity to promote innovations that have come about as a result of research on what we call ‘climate-smart agriculture’. These new agricultural practices should provide a response to the threefold challenge of food security, climate change adaptation, and the sustainable increase in production, by promoting the development of employment in rural areas. They are particularly vital for the future of family farming, but also for conceiving and building the world of tomorrow, based on the principles of sustainable development”, », points out Michel Eddi, Chairman of CIRAD..


Awards given by prestigious jury at 2015 International Agricultural Show

The 12 initiators of innovative projects will be invited to France to present their projects at the award ceremony, which will be held in Paris at the International Agricultural Show (21 February to 1 March 2015).


The final jury comprises personalities from the field of innovation and social and economic investment and include:

  • Brice Lalonde :Special Advisor on Sustainable Development to the UN Global Compact, former Under-Secretary General of the UN, former Secretary of State then Minister for the Environment from 1988 to 1992.
  • Navi Radjou : consultant in innovation in Silicon Valley, father of the concept of Jugaad and frugal innovation.
  • Ibrahima Coulibaly : Special Ambassador to the UN for the International Year of Family Farming, Vice-President ROPPA (Network of Farmers' and Agricultural Producers' Organizations of West Africa), President of CNOP (National Coordination of Farmers' Organizations in Mali).
  • Jean-Christophe Debar : Director of the FARM foundation (Foundation for World Agriculture and Rurality).


For Brice Lalonde, President of the Jury: « Humanity is facing one of its greatest challenges: how to ensure development for all without harming the planet. Agriculture has a full role to play in this challenge and the solutions may well come from countries in the South, which have a proven creative force. So, I am proud to be contributing to bringing out solutions, via this challenge, that will allow us to feed the world, while protecting nature, the mother of future harvests. »

Find out more at :
Climate Challenge Agriculture and Forestry:
Le Cirad :
French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (MAEDI):

€7.8 Billion in Commitments Makes 2013 a Record Year for AFD: Funding Up 8%


Anne Paugam, chief executive of AFD (Agence Française de Développement), today announced an increase in the French development agency’s 2013 financing commitments to the record level of €7.8 billion. The Agency’s 2013 annual report presentation outlined a transitional year, highlighted by a national Solidarity Summit and new foreign-aid guidelines set out by France’s Interministerial Council for Cooperation and Development (or CICID).


Sub-Saharan Africa the Priority in a Year of Growth

In 2013, AFD financing commitments, primarily loans, reached €7.8 billion, an 8% increase over 2012. Sub-Saharan Africa remains AFD’s priority region, receiving a record €2.8 million in aid; this represented 46% of all foreign aid and 37% of all AFD financing commitments. Rural and urban development, natural resource preservation and professional training projects count among the Agency’s primary efforts in the region.


An Increase in Commitments to Fight Climate Disruption

AFD is deeply committed to fighting climate disruption: 50% of its financing has a “co-benefit” for the climate. In 2013, this meant investing €2.4 billion in 77 projects that advanced development while fighting climate change and disruptions.

AFD Financing Benefits People and the Planet

Every year, the Agency’s work delivers increasingly greater impacts. AFD projects underway in 2013 had the following effects:

  • 1.5 million people gained access to a reliable source of drinking water
  • 411,000 people enjoyed improved sanitation services
  • 1 million slum dwellers resided in better and safer housing
  • 450,000 children received primary and elementary schooling
  • 32,000 youths attended vocational- or professional-training courses
  • 878,000 family farms received support
  • 73,000 small businesses received funding
  • 35 million passengers annually used new or modernized mass transit systems
  • 30 million hectares were protected by biodiversity-conservation and sustainable resource-management programs.  New projects financed in 2013 will help fight climate disruption by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, abating 3.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.

A Vast Network of Partners to Meet the Needs of the Developing World

AFD finds it increasingly important to work with other development partners: French local governments and companies, the European Union, and other donors. All these partners help conceive and execute aid projects that are better tailored to in-country needs. In 2013, AFD provided grants worth €48.7 million to finance 73 projects conducted by 56 civil society organizations, and joined other donors to cofinance 37 projects totaling €1.7 billion.

Anne Paugam, chief executive of AFD, stated: “In 2013, AFD committed €7.8 billion to serve development and a fairer and better-regulated globalization. Even as globalization has lifted millions out of extreme poverty, it has also aggravated all kinds of tensions and imbalances. In my view, AFD serves as France’s premiere instrument to address these issues: in Africa’s poorest countries, we fight poverty; in emerging countries, we are more focused on fighting climate change. However, the heart of our mission remains the same: to foster economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable development in the mutual interest of the developed and the developing world.”                               

Conference on Islamic microfinance in Jeddah, co-organized with Islamic Development Bank, on 30 April and 1 June


AFD and the Islamic Development Bank have co-organized an international conference on Islamic microfinance in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) with CGAP (microfinance network led by the World Bank). This conference gathered major players in Islamic microfinance and provided the opportunity to review the practices and products of this financing method which is experiencing rapid development.


A rapidly developing method to finance the economy

The work of the conference reviewed the practices, products and volumes of this financing method, which is experiencing rapid development with a billion dollar turnover and an annual growth rate of 30%. It also highlighted the results of a study jointly led by CGAP and AFD.

This conference was organized in the context of the partnership agreement signed last January between AFD and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).

The exchanges were rich and lively and brought to light the strengths and weaknesses of these tools, which are increasingly requested in a number of countries where AFD operates. They also more clearly identified the needs of beneficiaries, financial institutions and central banks, which play an essential role in terms of the regulatory framework and regulation.


A whole host of innovative experiences in the field 

Several observations were made: the existence of a strong demand for this type of financial product, particularly from the poorest; the proliferation of innovative experiences in the field, which are often poorly identified; the need to launch benchmarking exercises in order to build technical, financial and institutional references. 


A knowledge platform on the Internet

It was agreed that the various donors and institutions concerned, including IsDB and AFD, will support this process by promoting the implementation of information and exchange tools, such as a knowledge platform backed up by a dedicated website, and by holding an annual conference. An invitation was launched for the next one to be held at AFD’s headquarters in Paris. 

Bilateral talks were held between AFD’s Chief Executive Officer, Dov Zerah, and the President of IsDB, Mr. Ali, on the sidelines of this conference, and meetings between the respective operational departments defined practical ways of implementing the agreement, notably the possibility of staff exchanges and the first cofinancing operations in the Mediterranean.

Que fait l'AFD en matière de lutte contre la faim ?


Volatilité des marchés agricoles et prévention des crises alimentaires sont au cœur des priorités de la présidence française pour le « G20 agriculture » qui a réuni pour la première fois, à Paris, les ministres de l'agriculture des pays du G20.

A cette occasion, décryptage des enjeux de la lutte contre l'insécurité alimentaire et précisions sur les objectifs et les actions menées par l'AFD dans le domaine.

Décryptage avec ce dossier spécial « Sécurité alimentaire » au lendemain du "G20 agricole" qui a réuni pour la première fois, à Paris, les ministres de l'agriculture des pays du G20.

  L'éradication de la faim n'est pas une utopie. Des solutions existent. Abolir la faim dans le monde « maintenant », tribune du Pr Ismaïl Serageldin et Dov Zerah

► 3 questions à Jean-Luc François, directeur de la division Développement agricole et rural

Focus sur le Ghana, un pays pour qui l'agriculture est au coeur des priorités


 "Moderniser les process agricoles mais également notre façon de penser le monde"

3 questions à Jean-Luc François

Jean-Luc François est responsable de la division Développement agricole et rural à l'AFD

Qu’entend par sécurité alimentaire ?

La sécurité alimentaire signifie que tous mangent à leur faim. Mais il ne suffit pas de nourrir les gens pour qu’ils aient faim. Il faut augmenter leurs revenus.


Quels sont, d’après vous, les causes de la très grande vulnérabilité alimentaire dans laquelle vivent les pays du Sud aujourd’hui ?

Hormis des causes structurelles et locales, nous sortons d’une décennie où la doxa dans le monde des économistes du développement était : libéralisation et nouvelles technologies. Cependant – cause ou conséquence ? – la vulnérabilité aux phénomènes climatiques critiques, l’accroissement de la demande des pays émergents, au premier rang desquels la Chine, et le passage de leurs populations à des régimes carnés – beaucoup plus consommateurs de ressources naturelles – ont provoqué une réduction drastique des régions excédentaires et donc une flambée des prix. Les pays du Sud, de plus en plus dépendants de leurs importations de denrées alimentaires et où la population rurale est extrêmement pauvre, ont été particulièrement touchés par cette flambée des prix.

Aujourd’hui, nous sommes toujours dans cette grande vulnérabilité alimentaire.


Quelle est la stratégie prônée par la France et l’AFD ?

Pour répondre au défi de la faim, notre axe prioritaire est de moderniser l’agriculture des pays du Sud. Moderniser les process agricoles certes mais également notre façon de penser le monde et notre environnement. Il convient de conjuguer réponse globale et solutions locales.

La mise en place d’instances d’échanges, de régulation régionales, voire mondiale, en matière de politique agricole et de marchés des matières agricoles sont devenues une nécessité pour la majorité des acteurs du secteur.

En Afrique, par exemple, l’AFD travaille avec la Communauté économique des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) à la mise en place d’une gestion régionale des risques pour répondre aux désordres du marché.


Quels sont les axes d’intervention prioritaires en matière de développement rural et agricole ?

Nous intervenons en matière de structuration des filières, d’innovation, d’assurance et de crédit agricole ainsi que dans le domaine de la formation.

Des filières agricoles plus fortes sont également un moyen de lutter contre la vulnérabilité des populations. De la production à l’exportation en passant par l’accompagnement d’opérateurs intermédiaires, l’AFD accompagne certains de nos pays partenaires dans la structuration de ces filières.

Nous avons mis au point une palette d’outils financiers accessibles aux acteurs agricoles, en mixant prêts et dons, en développant des systèmes de garanties (fonds ARIZ par exemple).

Enfin, nous participons également à la recherche que ce soit sur les impacts de la libéralisation sur les agricultures du sud, sur la volatilité des prix et des moyens de la combattre, sur l’appropriation des terres, sur les filières vivrières, etc.

L’AFD est reconnu par ses partenaires comme un bailleur de fonds qui a une vision robuste de l’agriculture. Cependant, notre activité dans un pays, dans un secteur ne dépend pas que de nous. En effet, l’AFD répond à des demandes de ses partenaires. A nous de les convaincre.



Focus sur un pays, le Ghana, pour qui l'agriculture est au coeur des priorités


Interview de Bruno Leclerc, directeur de l'agence AFD d'Accra (durée 7 mn)



Abolir la faim dans le monde «maintenant»

Tribune du Professseur Ismail Serageldin et Dov Zerah, parue dans les Echos le 22 juin.

"L'éradication de la faim n'est pas une utopie. Des solutions existent. A la veille du G20 agricole, c'est plus que jamais une cause d'intérêt universel. L'agriculture africaine doit redevenir une priorité de l'aide internationale. "

Lire la suite de la tribune




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