French Guiana

French Guiana is located in South America and has a surface area equivalent to Portugal. The territory is marked by strong population growth and faces a number of social, health and economic challenges. AFD is helping local actors from both the public and private sectors address them throughout the territory, from the coast to remote areas.
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 Maroni, Guiana
AFD and French Guiana: addressing demographic challenges and supporting economic and social development

Supporting local authorities

Apatou College, Guyane, aerial view, local authorities, education

Supporting public actors

Local authorities in French Guiana are marked by their diversity, with varying degrees of isolation and varying levels of population density. Local authorities and public facilities (including hospitals, ports, and chambers of commerce) face major challenges, such as access to education, water, health, waste management and mobility. AFD assists them in the implementation of an investment policy to meet their needs. It is responsive to its partners and offers public actors appropriate financing, as well as several support mechanisms to structure their projects. 

Our support to public actors in French Guiana:

  • Strengthens priority sectors through the construction of schools, urban infrastructure, territorial development, access to water and sanitation and by improving waste management
  • Assists the implementation of investment programs
  • Improves the management and organization of local authorities and public facilities through support-advice services in finance, human resources, public procurement…

Strengthening the health and social care sectors

Hospital, Guiana, women & children, health

Strengthening the health and social care sectors

French Guiana is faced with a lack of infrastructure, equipment and qualified staff, particularly in the health sector. Consequently, there is unequal access to healthcare in the territory. In addition to this situation, rapid population growth puts further pressure on existing services.

AFD supports local actors in the health sector by contributing to financing French Guiana’s main hospital centers. For example, it has partly financed the construction of the West French Guiana Hospital Center in Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, the renovation of three Decentralized Prevention and Care Centers (CDPS), and the community therapy center for women suffering from addictions of the association AKATIJ.

AFD also helps improve the provision of care for disabled children and adults by financing associations in the medical-social sector (Apajh, PEP Guyane, Adapei).

Supporting private and community sustainable development initiatives

biomass, energy, Abiodis, Guyane

Supporting private and community sustainable development initiatives

AFD provides support to French Guiana’s private sector and associations that is complementary to commercial banks. The aim is to develop job-creating and environmentally-friendly activities. Through its support to ADIE, AFD also facilitates the establishment of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the French Overseas Territories.

In this respect, AFD’s scope of financing now includes social and solidarity economy (SSE) structures, which are essential to French Guiana’s economic fabric.

In line with its 100% Paris Agreement objective, AFD also supports the development of renewable energies (hydro, solar and biomass). Five power plants have been financed by AFD since 2016 in this sector where French Guiana has strong potential.

Developing regional cooperation

bird, nature, biodiversity, Guyane

Developing regional cooperation

On the Guiana Shield, AFD is established in Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil. It reorganized itself into regional basins in 2018, by integrating the Overseas Departments (DOM) and foreign countries. The aim is to develop cooperation between its various geographical areas of operation.

To strengthen French Guiana’s links with its neighbors, AFD supports and finances regional cooperation projects to pool know-how between territories on the Guiana Shield. It thereby provides its financial support and expertise beyond French Guiana’s borders, in particular in the sectors of health and environmental protection.

On both sides of the Maroni River, waste management, hospital cooperation and the development of complementary healthcare systems are among the key cooperation activities between French Guiana and Suriname. 

In addition, AFD’s support to cross-border initiatives for the protection of Amazonian biodiversity contributes to boosting regional dynamics in a decisive sector for the preservation of the local natural heritage. It is assisted by leading actors, such as the French Guiana Amazonian Park.

million euros committed between 2013 and 2022
projects financed between 2013 and 2022 with public and private operators
of commitments in 2022 have climate co-benefits

French Guiana is located in South America and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. It is France’s largest region in terms of surface area and is marked by wide territorial discontinuities. The road network is underdeveloped and only serves coastal towns, while inland towns can only be reached by air or river, which isolates part of the population.

With a population that has doubled in 20 years, estimated at 300,000 inhabitants in 2023, French Guiana has one of the most dynamic population growth rates in France. The population is particularly young (41% under the age of 20) and unevenly distributed across the territory (89% of inhabitants live along the coast and river borders).

While French Guiana has experienced strong growth since the 1990s, population growth is now mitigating this economic performance. In 2017, 53% of the population was living below the poverty line and unemployment affected 15% of the working population in 2021. Essential services are also unevenly distributed between the coast and the inland plains. In addition, despite abundant natural resources, very rich biodiversity and a position geared towards the Americas and Europe, the territory suffers as a whole from a lack of attractiveness.

AFD in French Guiana seeks to address the demographic challenge, fight against economic, social and territorial imbalances, and promote the emergence of a new development model. AFD supports local public and private actors. It operates via a number of tools for the public sector (loans and French Overseas Territories Fund) and private sector (loans to companies for medium to large-scale investment projects and guarantee fund for fishing and agriculture).

AFD's French Guiana office is directly attached to the Atlantic Ocean regional office.

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News & Events

Latin America | Three Oceans | French Guiana

Agro-Industry in French Guyana

In French Guiana, local industry struggles to meet the needs of the agricultural and agro-industrial sector, due to the small size of farms and a continuing lack of processing tools. The result: a sector highly dependent on imports. But the local economic fabric has enjoyed a boost—as well as job prospects for young workers —since the creation of the Yana Wassaï factory, which processes plants endemic to Amazonia, including acai, known locally as “wassaï”.


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