Financing NGO projects

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Technical college, students, learners, education, vocational training, Nouakchott, Mauritania
Is your CSO seeking financing for an international solidarity project or does it want to implement an AFD project?
Find out about the mechanisms tailored to your needs.



Do you represent a French CSO leading an international solidarity project? Find out about AFD’s CSO Initiatives mechanism.

Objective: cofinance field projects or programs that aim to support capacity building for local civil society organizations, cofinance CSO activities of general interest to structure French associations and education for development activities in France.

Eligible CSOs / project initiators: French CSOs set up over three years ago with the following status:

  • Associations under the 1901 Law
  • Non-profit associations governed by Alsace-Moselle law
  • Trade unions governed by French law (Law of 21 June 1865) working on development actions
  • French public-interest foundations that implement international solidarity actions.

Geographical areas concerned: all countries eligible for Official Development Assistance according to the list established by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) (with priority given to the priority countries for French cooperation), but also France for projects for education for development and international solidarity (EAD-SI), advocacy and structuring associations (SMA). 

Methods: every year, for two months (May-June), a call for the expression of project intentions invites CSOs to submit a financing request for the following year. Once their project intention has been shortlisted, CSOs submit their project between October and June in the following year. 

Amount of the CSO project: the total project amount must be above or equal to €300,000. Projects for a total amount of between €200,000 and €300,000 may only be declared eligible in specific and justified geographical and/or sectoral contexts.

AFD cofinancing (%): the cofinancing limit for “field” projects with French public funds, including AFD, the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) and French ministries (central and decentralized services) is:

  • A maximum of 50% of the total budget of field projects and a maximum of 60% if they are in consortium.
  • A maximum of 60% of the total budget of EAD-SI and SMA projects.

The CSO Initiatives mechanism is based on a grant budget allocated by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs every year. It recognizes the right of initiative and independence of CSOs.


Is your CSO leading a project with an amount below €300,000? AFD supports two dedicated programs:

  • The facility managed by the Micro-Project Agency. The Agency cofinances projects and assists project initiators with the preparation, supervision and evaluation of their initiatives. Find out more
  • The Support Program for International Solidarity Organizations from Immigration (OSIM), led by the Forum of Migrant International Solidarity Organizations (FORIM). FORIM cofinances and supports local development microprojects with an amount below €120,000. Find out more


Do you represent an African CSO working to protect biodiversity and combat climate change? The French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) offers you its Small-Scale Initiatives Program (PPI). Find out more


The Sectoral innovation facility for NGOs (FISONG)

FISONG is a “thematic call for projects” to promote the emergence of innovative practices led by French and non-French civil society organizations. The themes are defined in consultation with them. FISONG, which was set up in 2007, develops partnerships between French or international CSOs and AFD, by cofinancing innovative projects in the various sectors related to development. 

By “innovation”, AFD means seeking new operating methods that provide real added value in technical, methodological and organizational processes and/or partnerships developed that are likely to create new dynamics and act as a driving force in a sector.

FISONG aims to develop and promote the innovation and capitalization capacities of CSOs and create synergies between AFD and CSOs. The objective is to improve the coordination of public policies with the initiatives of non-governmental cooperation. It also seeks to strengthen the partnership with CSOs as channels for aid adapted to situations where public contracting authorities are absent or weak.

This financing tool is launched via biannual competitive calls for projects open to international CSOs. It finances a maximum of 90% of the project amounts.

In addition, since 2016, CSOs which benefit from FISONG can have free assistance (awareness-raising, personalized follow-up, capitalization, etc.) to ensure that gender is better taken into account in their project.



FISONG 2020 One Health;: "Contributing to people's resilience in the field of global health"

Download the following document:

Crisis and post-crisis calls for projects (APCC)

To provide a more effective response to fragile contexts, since 2013, AFD has been developing dedicated instruments, which include calls for crisis and post-crisis projects (APCC). The APCC have been developed to be complementary to the other CSO financing tools of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (Emergency Humanitarian Fund of the Crisis and Support Center) and AFD.

Based on specifications defined by AFD, the APCC allow projects to be built jointly with CSOs or other French and international non-profit organizations. AFD also promotes a diversification in partnership frameworks between international CSOs, local CSOs and public authorities in partner countries. This allows mechanisms to be adapted to the needs of each situation in a dynamic manner and over time.

Since 2013, €83.5 million have been allocated via the APCC to international CSOs (often in consortiums) and local CSOs. While these calls for projects are open to international CSOs, they have mainly benefited French CSOs, reflecting their expertise, their knowledge of the areas in question, and the strength of the local partnerships which have been developed.

The APCC have often been financed by delegations of European Union funds, in particular the Emergency Trust Fund (ETF) and Madad Fund. They are now also financed by the Minka Peace and Resilience Fund.


Improving access to quality primary health services for vulnerable populations in Lebanon
© Benjamin Petit / AFD

Opening: April 2, 2020 Closing: June 15, 2020
Project lead:  non-profit organizations, local or international
Area: Lebanon


Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in Ethiopia
© Kibuuka Mukisa Oscar

Opening: March 23, 2020 Closing : May 4, 2020
Project lead:  international organisations, civil society organisations
Area: Ethiopia



Due to their technical expertise, operating methods and knowledge of local contexts and stakeholders, non-governmental organizations are often involved in AFD projects. During the appraisal stages of a project, NGOs are thereby regularly involved in the design, feasibility studies and search for innovative approaches with AFD’s teams.

NGOs may be selected, via bid invitations, by national contracting authorities (State, public or parapublic structure) for the implementation of AFD-funded projects. They can then act as implementing agencies, or support implementing agencies, in areas such as vocational training, structuring stakeholders in the agriculture sector, preventive healthcare, access to water and sanitation, etc

Access the notices of invitations to tender for AFD-funded contracts

projects selected since 2008
million euros, the total invested since 2008
the maximum financed by AFD for each project
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