Guarantees: an instrument to mobilize local instruments

Guarantees reduce the risk taken by local banks when they allocate a loan. AFD has established partnerships with over 80 financial institutions around the world.
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Sewing workshop in Abidjan neighbourhood, Niamey, Nigeria
The guarantees allocated by AFD facilitate access to financing for small businesses and microfinance institutions in developing countries. They also help French SMEs set up in business abroad. They are therefore an effective tool to promote investment and job creation.

ARIZ: Risk-sharing

Men, construction site, electricity, Vietnam
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ARIZ: why?

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up the bulk of the economic base in developing and emerging countries. To set up and develop their activity, they need medium and long-term financial resources. But as they are often perceived as high-risk clients, their access to financing remains extremely limited.

AFD’s response is to provide financial institutions with a risk-sharing mechanism: ARIZ

ARIZ (Support for the Risk of Financing Private Investment in AFD's Areas of Operation) is a final loss guarantee offered to financial institutions by AFD to cover 50% to 75% of an individual loan or a loan portfolio for SMEs and microfinance institutions (MFIs).

It allows:

  • Companies, from small business owners to structured SMES, to access investment loans
  • Microfinance institutions to finance their operations and deploy their lending activity 
  • Our financial partners to share the credit risk, reduce the level of collateral required, be assisted in the development of a strategy and products for SMEs, and increase their lending capacity thanks to the improvement in their solvency ratio and AFD’s signature.

AFD has now established partnerships with over 100 financial institutions. The mechanism is used in 37 countries.



  • ARIZ single deal guarantee: risk-sharing allocated on a loan-by-loan basis;
  • ARIZ portfolio guarantee: risk-sharing for a loan portfolio.


The FASEP guarantee (Private Sector Study and Aid Fund) supports the establishment and development of French SMEs abroad. It guarantees investments against the economic risk of the failure of their establishment.
FASEP guarantees cover:

  • Equity investments made by the French parent company in its foreign subsidiary;
  • Investments by venture capital companies (VCCs) or mutual funds.

The funds guaranteed may take several forms:

  • Share subscriptions (or securities convertible into shares);
  • Shareholders’ advances blocked for over 3 years;
  • Equity loans.

To be eligible, the foreign subsidiaries must be established outside the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

of the guarantees allocated by AFD in 2016 were earmarked for Sub-Saharan Africa
Find out more
Loans: AFD’s main financing tool
Infotep, vocational training in Dominican Republic

AFD allocates different types of loans. Their terms are determined by the nature of the project and its environment (political, economic, social, environmental impact and context) and the quality of the borrower (sector of activity, rating, guarantees).

Grants: For the development of the poorest countries
Distribution of drinking water in Kinshasa

AFD uses grants to finance actions in the social sector (health, education), rural and urban development initiatives, and infrastructure projects. 

C2D: A mechanism to relieve indebted countries
landscape Niger

The Debt Reduction-Development Contract (C2D) is a tool to restructure the debt of certain countries. In practical terms, once a Heavily Indebted Poor Country has signed a C2D with AFD, the country continues to service its debt until repayment. At each payment on the due date, AFD transfers the equivalent amount to the country in the form of a grant. This amount is used to finance poverty reduction programs.

Financing NGO projects
Technical college, students, learners, education, vocational training, Nouakchott, Mauritania

The direct financial cooperation between AFD and CSOs today covers a wide range of instruments tailored to the specific characteristics of CSOs and their added value: support for innovation (Sectoral Innovation Facility for NGOs, financing from the French Facility for Global Environment, FFEM), financing for operations in fragile, crisis and post-crisis contexts (APCC), and support for their initiatives, via the CSO Initiatives mechanism.

FEXTE: A cooperation instrument
Woman on a building site of construction, Colombia

FEXTE meets the development needs of middle-income countries, feeds into dialogue on public policies, and promotes French expertise.

Adapt'Action: Working together to tackle climate change
Brazil, Curitiba, Souza

Following the Paris Climate Agreement, AFD has launched Adapt’Action to support countries seeking technical assistance for the institutional, methodological and operational implementation of their commitments to the fight against climate change.