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.
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 bondsFor 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:
The sixth International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Parks Congress will be held from 12 to 19 November in Sydney (Australia). It is a major opportunity to promote French expertise in biodiversity conservation.
2020 target: 17% of terrestrial areas and 10% of marine areas protected
This sixth edition of the Congress , on the theme of “Parks, People, Planet: Inspiring Solutions”, which will be held in Sydney, Australia, from 12 to 19 November, will be an opportunity to discuss ways of speeding up measures taken to achieve the global target adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010: for at least 17% of terrestrial areas and 10% of marine areas to be part of the protected area network by 2020.
Protected areas are living territories and an investment for a sustainable future
Eleven years on from the World Parks Congress in Durban, the main issue for this congress will be to promote the contribution that protected areas make to biodiversity conservation, the fight against climate change, the health and well-being of populations, the governance of territories and, more generally, to meeting development challenges.
Consequently, the Congress will aim to:
- Come up with more equitable and effective ways of conserving natural and cultural diversity, by involving governments, companies and citizens, in order to create and manage parks;
- Inspire populations all over the world and from all generations so that they renew the connection with nature;
- Demonstrate the effectiveness of nature-based solutions in meeting the challenges of our planet, such as climate change, health and food security.
The green list of protected areas will also be officially launched on this occasion, the e-book: “The Protected Area Governance and Management Book”, the future reference document for managers of protected areas, as well as the KBA (Key Biodiversity Areas) method.
Kakadu National Park - credit Tourism NT
France: A biodiversity giant
In this context, France, which holds one of the largest groups of protected areas in the world, in particular thanks to its marine territory (world’s second largest exclusive economic zone), has selected this event to promote its commitment within the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as a founding member and strategic partner, but also its public policies for protected areas (creation, management, financing and international cooperation for terrestrial and marine areas).
Through its position, France aims to play a leading role in promoting protected areas and public policies that aim to reconcile nature conservation and the living character of territories. In addition to serving as an example, the scale of France’s maritime area also gives it a specific responsibility in terms of promoting protected areas in its own territory and at regional level.