AFD Group contributes to the implementation of France's sustainable development and international solidarity policy. Consisting of Agence Française de Développement (AFD), which is responsible for public sector and NGO financing, research and training, its subsidiary Proparco, dedicated to private sector financing, and Expertise France, a technical cooperation agency, the Group has a mandate to fund, support and accelerate the transition to a fairer and more resilient world.
Together with our partners, we work with and for communities to build shared solutions in over 150 countries, as well as 11 French Overseas Departments and Territories. What is our objective? To reconcile economic development with preservation of the common good, in the fields of climate, biodiversity, peace-building, gender equality, education and healthcare. Our teams are involved in more than 4,200 projects in the field, thus reinforcing France and the French people's commitment to supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Towards a world in common.
Find out more about the Group and its holistic approach
Find out more about development assistance
Climate change, conflict, pollution and epidemics do not stop at borders. Events occurring at the other end of the world can impact our lives, and it is in our interest that the world be a more stable place, that inequality be reduced and nature preserved.
One example among others: the extreme poverty that is still endemic in the Sahel has enabled terrorist groups to prosper, which directly threaten france and its inhabitants. AFD provides a powerful response to this problem through ambitious development programmes in the education and healthcare fields in particular. These are both short and long-term actions that are indispensable to stem the poverty that provides fertile ground for all kinds of instability.
We also believe that certain resources (water, forests, biodiversity, etc.) must be managed on a global level, in line with the global commons model. These resources are shared, managed and maintained collectively by a community that considers ownership as usage, not appropriation.
Participating in the development of emerging countries means participating in the growth of an economy that benefits first and foremost the inhabitants of the countries concerned, but also indirectly employment in France with new openings for our companies, in strict compliance with local regulations and standards. More generally, the government's development policy contributes to France's global reach and influence.
We believe it is essential to support the populations that face the greatest poverty, difficulties in accessing healthcare or the consequences of climate change, wherever they are in the world and whatever the political regime in place.
Where possible, we work with the existing authorities to encourage and support governance-related reforms and indeed, to foster the extension of human and social rights.
Finally, AFD does not work exclusively with states. Over half our funding is granted to non-state actors such as companies (mainly via Proparco, our subsidiary dedicated to the private sector), NGOs or local authorities (regions, cities, etc.), which work in the interests of the population, especially where the state is weak or failing.
The Law of August 4, 2021 sets forth an ambitious new strategy for France’s development assistance policy, in which AFD Group plays a major role. The Law's article 10 calls upon the Group to prioritize financing that improves access to essential services in the so-called least developed countries (LDCs) and priority countries for French assistance, whether through grants or concessional loans.
Furthermore, in order to meet the specific needs of Overseas France, AFD Group has adopted a “Three Oceans” strategy, through which French Overseas Departments and Territories can further strengthen ties between France and their neighboring countries. AFD Group’s operations in these regions are focused on economic and social development, as well as on addressing the common challenges of combating climate change and inequality.
With regard to global public assets, since COP21, AFD Group has played a leading role in supporting ecological transitions. In 2017, AFD was the first development agency to pledge its commitment to “fully align its operations with the Paris Agreement” and to go on to implement it on the ground. AFD is also stepping up its efforts to preserve biodiversity, having committed nearly €3.5 billion to this cause between 2015 and 2021.
These initiatives to support the ecological transition are inextricably linked to the effort to reduce inequality. For this reason, the Group adopted a “100% Social Link” strategy in 2017.
The Programming Law also recognizes the importance of civil society players in both the North and South, and AFD Group is being encouraged to provide them with even greater support. As a result, Official Development Assistance will double by 2027.
In accordance with this law, AFD Group has adapted its organization and internal operations. The law authorized the merger between Expertise France and AFD for instance, thus providing France with a capacity for action and a unique level of consistency across its bilateral assistance mechanisms, by regrouping all the skills and instruments used in development policy under a single entity.