In 2021, AFD Group financed more than 1,000 projects in 115 countries in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), for a total amount of €12.15 billion. July, 2021 marked a key moment with France’s adoption of the Programming Law on Inclusive Development and the Fight Against Global Inequality, which provides for an unprecedented increase in funds allocated to official development assistance.
For AFD Group CEO Rémy Rioux, “The increasingly ambitious French development policy requires us to be exemplary in terms of social and environmental responsibility, both in our activity and in our management.”
It’s in this spirit that AFD Group has just published its 2022 Activity and Social Responsibility Report on its contribution to the SDGs, based on the five pillars of the 2030 Agenda: Planet, People, Peace, Partnerships and Prosperity.
To reach SDG 2 on “Zero Hunger,” AFD has pursued the dual objective of food security and improvement in the standard of living of rural populations, while at the same time ensuring the preservation of natural resources. AFD committed €500 million to fight worsening food insecurity in 2021, in particular by improving access to agricultural services. This has helped strengthen the capacities of more than 1.4 million additional people in the sector.
AFD prides itself in being a feminist development agency and considers gender equality (SDG 5) to be a strong marker in the fight against discrimination, and as part of the larger commitment to social cohesion. We committed €857 million in 2021 for projects whose main objective is gender equality, and half of our projects approved in 2021—all areas combined—incorporate gender priorities.
AFD Group has committed €6 billion to the fight against climate change (SDG 13), including €2 billion for adaptation and €2 billion for biodiversity. This is in line with our strategic objective of being the top 100% Paris Agreement donor.
And to help reach SDGs 14 (“Life below water”) and 15 (“Life on land”), our biodiversity conservation and restoration programs concern more than 25 million hectares of natural environments (forests, marine areas, etc.). As part of our biodiversity strategy, we aim to increase our biodiversity funding to €1 billion by 2025.
Furthermore, to encourage better mainstreaming of biodiversity into other projects, 30% of the climate projects we finance must generate positive effects on biodiversity.
With crises and crisis resolution in mind, AFD has also financed concrete actions to promote peace (SDG 16). Our 2021 commitments should benefit more than 13 million people living in fragile regions, including more than 5 million as part of Minka Fund for financing peace and resilience.
As Rémy Rioux says, “We don’t carry out our SDG-oriented work alone; we always adopt a ‘partnership by design’ approach to mobilize action on a large scale.” Indeed, AFD Group has fully integrated SDG 17 (“Partnerships for the goals”) into its strategy. In 2021, it also further strengthened its cooperation with stakeholders of civil society organizations (CSOs), mobilizing nearly €375 million to support them.
Our Group’s commitment to prosperity (SDGs 8 and 9) manifests itself, in part, in the work our subsidiary Proparco does as it finances responsible private sectors. The Choose Africa initiative committed approximately €2.3 billion in 2021, including €1.2 billion in Africa, to entrepreneurs, businesses, and financial institutions working in sectors such as renewable energy, microfinance, and health.
This report has been prepared in accordance with the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative, the international standard for non-financial reporting. It is an essential aspect of the accountability and transparency of AFD Group’s activities vis-à-vis its stakeholders in France and in the countries where we operate.
Read our Activity and Social Responsibility report in PDF format