AFD Group Results for 2021: Prioritizing the Sustainable Development Goals

published on 09 June 2022
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Annual Results 2021
AFD Group is more than ever acting in solidarity with its partners north and south, as can be seen in our Annual Results for 2021, published this week. With 995 new projects financed to the tune of €12.15 billion and a historically high level of disbursements, the Group is posting robust results, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. AFD Group is at the vanguard of France's law on inclusive development and the fight against global inequality, which has boosted resources and widened the scope of AFD action.

In 2021, AFD Group continued to build on partnerships as a way to maximize its approach to development, joining forces in particular with the European Union in several areas of action, from climate and biodiversity, to gender equality, education and health. We’ve implemented a total of more than 4,000 projects in 115 countries and in the French overseas territories.

Last August was marked by the French Parliament’s unanimous adoption of the Programming Law on Inclusive Development and the Fight Against Global Inequality.

This programming law provides for the following:

  • An increase in funds allocated to official development assistance, from 0.55% of gross national income (GNI) in 2022 to 0.7% in 2025
  • Addressing the root causes of crises by accompanying the most vulnerable countries, particularly in Africa, in their bid to move toward more resilient and sustainable growth models
  • The integration of Expertise France into the Group, effective January 1, 2022

See also: Expertise France joins AFD Group, allowing for a Holistic Approach to Development

AFD Group now possesses the tools it needs to adopt a holistic approach to development, due to its three constituent organizations: 

  • Agence Française de Développement, in charge of financing the public sector and NGOs
  • Proparco, a subsidiary dedicated to financing the private sector
  • Expertise France, the interministerial agency of international technical cooperation and the newest subsidiary of AFD Group

“With almost 1,000 projects each year, AFD is the public face of France’s constructive engagement with the rest of the world. In a global context still marred by geopolitical conflict and the public health crisis, our results for 2021 reflect France’s commitment to a World in Common. Thanks to the achievements of AFD Group (AFD, Proparco, and Expertise France), working by your side for the last 80 years, over 12 billion euros have been spent on new projects; more than 22 million people are receiving medical treatment, 13 million girls are in school, and 22 million hectares of land have been restored. These results demonstrate both the President and the French government’s commitment to international solidarity, to the protection of common goods, and to the fight against global inequality. These results also bear witness to the renewal of our relationship with our partners, endorsed by the Programming Law on Inclusive Development and the Fight Against Global Inequality, which was passed unanimously by the French Parliament and the Senate”, said Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer of AFD Group.

Key figures

AFD Group’s activity continued to be strong in 2021 and was marked by the following: 

  • €12.15 billion in new commitments, including €2.3 billion in support to the
  • private sector via our subsidiary Proparco
  • €8 billion in disbursements, our highest amount ever
  • €298 million in net results, our highest ever, and this despite the crisis 
  • €5.2 billion in Africa, nearly half of AFD Group’s total commitments, including €1.2 billion through Proparco
  • 995 new projects, all sectors combined
  • 50% of our commitments contributing to gender equality, with €846 million earmarked just for that
  • 55% of commitments benefiting non-sovereign stakeholders (civil society organizations, local authorities, private sector)
  • €5.2 billion for the climate, enabling AFD to meet 85% of France’s Paris Agreement commitment to climate finance 
  • More than €500 million for biodiversity, enabling us to work actively towards climate-biodiversity convergence 

The Sustainable Development Goals as a guide

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are at the heart of our work and set the course for AFD Group’s everyday actions.  Working in a wide range of sectors AFD Group has produced results touching lives around the world. More than 22 million people benefit from improved access to health care, some 12 million girls are now enrolled in primary and lower secondary school and more than 2 million people have new access to sustainable electricity services.

“These results translate into action the ambition and policy of the French government, as regards international solidarity and partnerships, common goods, and the fight against inequality, all enshrined in the law on sustainable development passed unanimously by Parliament and the Senate last August,” added Rémy Rioux.    

Four geographical areas, one world in common

Throughout Africa, we used the “common goods” approach to support the large-scale transitions in progress, including management of the social, health, climate and resource-management fields. Support for the private sector to promote sustainable development has been particularly important, in particular through the Choose Africa initiative led by Proparco to strengthen France’s commitment to African start-ups, VSEs, and SMEs. For example, €3 billion has been committed since 2018 to such companies. 

Our region made up of the Western Balkans, the Middle East, and Asia has seen its resilience weakened by crises and must develop more sustainable and inclusive economic and social models.  AFD Group’s action in this region is working to support low-carbon trajectories and reduce vulnerabilities through the mobilization of French and international players. We committed €3.5 billion in this region in 2021 to support these goals. 

AFD Group’s actions in Latin America focus on far-reaching policies and projects to fight climate change and adapt to its consequences, in line with the Paris Agreement.  In this region, 70% of our annual commitments must therefore include benefits that are positive for the climate. At the same time, cohesion and social justice are prerequisites for the ecological transition.  That’s why AFD’s financing also seeks to protect human rights, provide access to quality public services, and promote citizen participation. In 2021, we committed €1.7 billion in Latin America.

Finally, AFD has developed its Three Oceans strategy, whereby France’s overseas regions and territories help develop strong links between France and its neighbors. In the communities near the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, which unite French overseas territories and independent countries, AFD Group is harnessing Overseas and international partnerships to tackle common challenges such as the fight against climate change and inequalities. Our commitments in the Three Oceans region reached €1.4 billion in 2021.

Download the full report to find out more about the 2021 results of AFD Group