Our Role

The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Group finances, supports and accelerates the transition to a fairer and more sustainable world.
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Peace, climate change, health, education: our teams are involved in more than 4,200 projects, which are having a major impact in 150 countries and French overseas departments. We contribute to the commitment of France and the French people to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) across the developing world.

THE AFD GROUP

our role, woman, Colombia

Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Group is a public institution that contributes to the implementation of France’s policy in the areas of development and international solidarity. 

AFD Group comprises AFD and its subsidiary Proparco, which is dedicated to financing actors in the private sector, as well as the interministerial agency responsible for technical cooperation, Expertise France, which joined the Group on January 1, 2022.

Development is one of France's three pillars for its external activities, along with diplomacy and defense. Our mission is to contribute to the economic, social, and environmental progress of low and middle-income countries. 

In practical terms, this mission takes the form of loans, grants, expertise or technical assistance. These forms of assistance are granted to States, local authorities, companies, foundations and NGOs, and allow communities to carry out projects in a vast variety of fields, including climate, biodiversity, energy, education and urban planning, health, digital technology, sport, and training. 

AFD Group works to meet the 17 UN sustainable development goals (SDG) established in 2015, as well as the Paris Agreement on climate

We believe that all countries must frame and implement public policies that help preserve the climate and ecosystems as well as improve social cohesion and economic prosperity. All countries should be transitioning to a world characterized by small ecological footprints and a higher standing on the Human Development Index. To successfully make this transition, we must respect the uniqueness of each country, prioritize collective action, and build partnerships to find solutions that benefit everyone.

Public investment is key to implementing these solutions, to initiate projects in neglected or low-profit sectors, and to provide a boost to activities in the business and social sectors. This investment is truly a driving force that multiplies the effects of our efforts.

Thanks to its network of 85 agencies throughout the world, AFD Group finances and monitors more than 4,200 development projects and programs. In 2022, the volume of new projects signed amounted to €12.3 billion for 1.100 new development projects, across all sectors.

OUR OFFER

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AFD’s work is not limited to funding — it also includes knowledge generation, training, assessment, and raising awareness. AFD leads a wide range of complementary efforts to support social, energy, ecological, digital, citizen and economic transitions.

AFD Group is designed to be a platform that gathers all those who can provide resources, expertise, and capacity for action—companies, local authorities and NGOs, and other donors—and then offers these resources to developing and emerging countries.

Being a platform means remaining open and ready to listen and being a source of innovation and solutions to serve the needs of populations and other stakeholders. AFD is responsible for this role combining international outreach and the mobilization of French and European stakeholders.

We want the solutions we offer to be shared and jointly developed with project leaders and populations. We strive to create exchanges of skills and experiences with those benefiting from funding and work to generate and cultivate dynamics that serve our common interests.

OUR PRIORITIES

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Through the Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID), the French government defines the main development and international solidarity policies which are in turn implemented by AFD. The CICID has prioritized the following: international stability, climate, education, gender equality and health

In order to support these priorities, the French government agreed in 2017 to increase funds so that 0.55% of the Gross National Income is dedicated to Official Development Assistance (ODA) by 2022, its highest level since 1995.

The adoption in 2021 of the programming law on inclusive development and the fight against global inequalities has further reinforced this trend, with the increase in credits allocated to official development assistance, from 0.55 % of gross national income (GNI) in 2022 to 0.7% in 2025.

AFD Group has defined five commitments aimed at meeting these ambitions :

  • 100% Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement now stands at the heart of the AFD Group mandate. The Agency will draw on public and private resources to fund capital investments that protect the Earth from climate change and biodiversity loss: all project funding will finance resilient low-carbon development in keeping with the Paris Agreement.

  • 100% social link

AFD Group will base its actions on their capacity to reinforce social cohesion within populations and between territories, reducing inequalities — particularly gender inequality — and increasing access to education, health and social protection.

  • 3D development thinking

Sustainable development requires peace and stability, which in turn require solutions for the social, political, and environmental causes of conflict that render some regions fragile and unstable.

AFD Group pledges to uphold the third “D” in France’s Defense, Diplomacy and Development trinity. Promoting a 3D vision for conflict prevention, the Group will work alongside other development professionals, complementing the work of humanitarian organizations and the French diplomatic and military corps.

  • Non-sovereign first

Alongside sovereign central governments, non-sovereign entities must also direct their investments toward attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Local governments, public enterprises, civil society organizations, foundations, companies, and financial institutions all have a vital role to play. AFD Group will thus dedicate more funding to all of them in countries where it operates. 

  • Partnership by design

The fifth AFD Group commitment will apply a very simple principle: a project conducted with a third party is always better than one undertaken alone.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate requires a collective response through partnerships. This will reinforce interventions' comprehensiveness, geographic universality, and relevance at every level, from central governments to civil society. The new AFD Group strategy therefore features a systematic openness to all potential partners.

Countries and fields of action

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Our areas of intervention

AFD Group supports projects in 150 countries and in French overseas departments. The territories, countries and regions submit specific requests to AFD Group, and we respond with appropriate solutions and means.

Our action covers all continents and three oceans:

In 2022, the African continent concentrated nearly half of the Group's financing (5.5 billion euros) and the vast majority of the financial effort (grants and loan subsidies ).

Our fields of action

To contribute to economic, social and environmental progress in low- and middle-income countries, AFD Group finances and supports development projects in all fields, including climate, biodiversity, energy, education, urban development, agriculture, water and sanitation, health, digital technologies, sport....
 

THE SDGS

In 2015, every country in the world agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight against inequalities and injustices, tackle climate change and build a common world by 2030. These SDGs were adopted on 25 September 2015 in New York, during the United Nations General Assembly, and officially take over from the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

What is new about them? They are interdependent universal goals which are equally applicable to the USA as they are to Peru or Chad. This vision shared by the whole world on the direction to take for the next 15 years is promising. It calls for the mobilization of everyone: international community, States, NGOs, local authorities, companies and citizens. 

AFD Group fully works to meet these 17 SDGs. 
 

DEVELOPMENT AID

Development aid, often called “Official Development Assistance” (ODA), is all the funding or financing provided by public actors from the most well-off countries to improve living conditions in the least well-off countries.  ODA is grants or loans at favorable rates and is implemented by local actors such as ministries, local authorities, banks, professional organizations, NGOs, or even businesses. With one aim: help local people.