The Comoros

The Union of the Comoros is a small island nation in the Indian Ocean and one of the 19 priority destinations for French aid. AFD's work in the Comoros covers five main areas: health, water, climate and the environment, support for the financial and private sectors and, since 2018, education.
  • logo linkedin
  • logo email
water pumping station, Bongweni, Anjouan, Comoros, Modali
AFD and the Comoros: putting an end to the economic vulnerability
water pumping station, Bongweni, Anjouan, Comoros, Modali

Improving the healthcare system in the Union of the Comoros

Comoros, health, health center, doctor, woman, Nawal

Improving the healthcare system in the Union of the Comoros

One of AFD's main priorities is to contribute to improving the healthcare system in the Comoros. Its work is centered primarily around maternal and child health, as well as providing access to care for the most vulnerable.

Five projects have helped to improve:

  • the quality of care offered by the main hospitals in the country;
  • access to obstetricians;
  • maternal health on the island of Anjouan (maternity and healthcare centers);
  • the quality of services and professionalism of Caritas Comoros and its healthcare center on Moroni;
  • community healthcare.

Better management and protection of ressources

Comoros, water, filtre, Sima, Vavasseur

Better management and protection of ressources

Improving water access and quality

Only a very small part of the local population has access to drinking water. Creating water networks, boosting infrastructure performance and ensuring the sustainability of public services are all major issues for the Comorian government. AFD is committed to helping rural and urban stakeholders in the sector to:

  • modernize and build water infrastructure on the three islands;
  • support efforts to improve the professionalism of local operators and sector governance for better public services;
  • preserve and increase the availability of resources to meet the needs of the growing population. 

Since 2017, AFD has been helping the Comorian government to implement sector reform and strengthen its governance system. 

Preserving marine and terrestrial biodiversity

The Comoros islands are located at the heart of the South Tanzania/North Mozambique/North West Madagascar biodiversity triangle. This area was identified as a priority marine region for classification as a UNESCO World Heritage marine site.  

As the only marine reserve to this day and the first protected nature reserve in the Comoros, the Moheli National Park contributes to protecting the biodiversity and marine resources of the North Mozambique coral triangle, the second most important area for reef biodiversity in the world. 

AFD supports the reserve with its conservation missions by:  

  • consolidating park governance;
  • supporting the creation of a trust fund to ensure long-term financing for protected areas in the Comoros;
  • protecting biodiversity as well as marine and terrestrial resources;
  • helping local communities to develop income-generating activities (fishing and ecotourism).

Fighting against the impact of climate change

Comoros, market gardening, cooperative, nature, Moheli

Fighting against the impact of climate change

The Union of the Comoros is among those countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The assessment made in the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) of 2015 identified certain challenges that must be met to help specific sectors to adapt to climate change (agriculture, water, infrastructure and health). 

To contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and respond to a request from the Union of the Comoros for help in implementing its INDCs, AFD put in place the Adapt'Action program, scheduled to last for a period of four years,  and with the objectives of:

  • organizing "climate" governance that will meet the INDCs through capacity-building activities; 
  • incorporating the INDCs into sector-specific public policies and action plans to help adaptation, and perhaps encourage renewable energy; 
  • designing concrete programs and projects that are resolutely focused on adaptation to the effects of climate change.

Strengthening the private and financial sectors

Comoros, private sector, Master Wakidou, sculptor, Nawal

Strengthening the private and financial sectors

In order to speed up development, AFD supports microfinance and works to consolidate the financial sector. We provide financing to the two main financial institutions in the Comoros, the Union des Meck and the Union des Sanduk d'Anjouan. We have also trained 70 Comorian interns through the Development Campus (former CEFEB).

Our support in the banking sector can also be seen in our work with the Central Bank of the Comoros to strengthen its supervisory role regarding the banking system.

Our efforts also aim to:

  • develop regional economic integration;
  • support initiatives for rural development (vanilla and ylang ylang cultivation);
million committed between 2008 and 2017
projects funded since 2007
assisted births in hospitals between 2012 and 2017

The Union of the Comoros, located off the coast of Mozambique and Madagascar, is an archipelago made up of three islands (Grande Comore, Moheli and Anjouan).

With 45% of its population living below the poverty line and ranked 160 out of 187 on the Human Development Index, the Comoros fall into the UN category of least developed countries (LDC).  The 2% annual growth rate over the last decade means the economic situation remains fragile. This is further compounded by the fact that economic growth is slower than the population growth rate (2.4%).

The economy of the islands is not very diversified, and is dominated by agriculture. They also suffer from energy shortages and a lack of water. Another key factor in understanding the Comoros is the sizeable diaspora living in France and in other parts of the Indian Ocean, whose remittances represent 26% of national GDP.

France has very close relations with the Comoros and the nation is one of the 19 priority destinations for French aid. 

As a partner of the Comoros for more than 60 years, AFD has concentrated its efforts on certain key sectors (access to resources, to financial services, to healthcare, etc.). We provide help through subsidies and technical support projects. This work is part of the strategy to combat poverty and is in line with the partnerships signed between France and the Comoros.  

Between 2008 and 2017, AFD committed more than €74 million.

AFD's Comoros office is directly attached to the Indian Ocean regional office in Saint-Denis.

Interactive map
This map is for illustrative purposes only and does not engage the responsibility of the AFD Group
Launch search
See map of all projects


Institutional document

Adapt'Action: Tackling Climate Change Together

More than 3 billion people live in contexts that are highly vulnerable to climate change (IPCC, 2022

Nov 2022
Institutional document

Indian Ocean - 2019-2023 Regional Strategy

At the Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID) on February

Apr 2020
Institutional document

Three Oceans Strategy

Present in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, France has five departments and regions and seve

Oct 2019
Research document

Coastal erosion in the Comoros: How are perceptions and risks of maladaptation linked?

Coastal erosion and marine flooding today pose a major challenge for the Comoros and are likely to i

Apr 2023
Research document

Export diversification in the franc zone: its extent, sophistication and dynamics

It is now a widely recognised fact in the economic literature that the level of per capita income an...
Dec 2012
Research document

Developing Lower Secondary Education: a Rural Issue and Challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa

The current development of African education systems focuses on the perspective of universal complet...
Oct 2010

Comoros: Sustainable and resilient territorial planning for the island of Moheli

Climate change is already having serious consequences in small island developing states (SIDS) in th

Nov 2023
View all publications