New Caledonia

New Caledonia has experienced significant economic growth for 25 years. Today, it is faced with some slowdown and uncertainty over its future institutional status. AFD is supporting this decisive period for the future of the Territory on a number of points in all sectors.
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Madeleine waterfalls, New-Caledonia, Le Chélard
AFD and New Caledonia: ensuring the sustainable development of the archipelago
Tropical fruits, bananas, men, Le Chélard, New-Caledonia

Supporting local authorities

City view, New Caledonia

Supporting local authorities

The rebalancing of the territory is one of the priorities of the island’s development policy. Local authorities, from small municipalities to the Local Authority of New Caledonia, are essential relays in completing this.

AFD promotes this priority, thanks to the Public Sector Loan (PSL), a flexible loan subsidized by the French State. We also assist loan authorities in their financial management, particularly through training, and publish an Observatory of the Commons, which is updated annually and aims to be a decision-making tool.

Backing the private sector

Agriculture, crop, New-Caledonia, Le Chélard

Backing the private sector

New Caledonia’s isolation means that a dynamic local private sector is required. To address the signs of slowdown on the island since 2011, AFD is strengthening its policy to support the private sector.
What are our financial tools? 

  • Direct loans to large companies, cofinanced by local banks, for medium to large-scale projects; 
  • Financing for small businesses via Sogefom (Société de Gestion des Fonds de Garantie d'Outre-mer, an AFD subsidiary). Sogefom provides guarantees for loans allocated by local banking institutions to companies established in New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis & Futuna. The objective: strengthen competitiveness and support employment and the creation of local value.

AFD is working on a number of projects, such as:

  • The construction in 2017 of the largest solar facility in New Caledonia and the first on customary land, which will produce electricity for the equivalent of 7,000 households;
  • Support for the productive investments of CAM (Crédit Agricole Mutuel), with a focus on the fields of agriculture and livestock raising.

Supporting the emergence of sustainable cities

Nouméa, Néobus, New-Caledonia

Supporting the emergence of sustainable cities

The emergence of “sustainable cities” and territorial rebalancing are among the priority challenges that need to be addressed:

  • On a large scale, AFD is financing the infrastructure required for the balanced development of the island. It is a shareholder of semi-public development companies and of the New Caledonia Housing Company (SIC) and participates in projects, such as the refurbishment of Nouméa’s social housing stock, which is part of a Strategic Heritage Plan;
  • At a local level, we assist local authorities in promoting the technical dialogue, reflection on the topic of the “smart city”, and training on territorial development (urban planning, mobility, service management). AFD operates on customary land and participates in the rehabilitation of unsafe housing.

Ongoing projects include:

  • NÉOBUS, a bus rapid transit (BRT) line, which will provide a regular and rapid service to make travel easier in Greater Nouméa.

Extending healthcare provision

research, scientist, New-Caledonia, Le Chélard

Extending healthcare provision

The health sector is a major issue for improving living conditions for all New Caledonians. Medical facilities need to address an increase in the healthcare needs of the population.

AFD finances all renovations of the island’s hospital facilities. It is supporting the medical-social sector for the management of mental illness and issues related to the ageing of the population.
Major projects in the health sector include:

  • The Médipôle health center in Kouti, which groups together several health facilities and meets increasing healthcare demand, in particular following the ageing of the population and the increase in chronic diseases;
  • The Île Nou Magnin Clinic will provide comprehensive healthcare coverage, from emergencies to rehabilitation care;
  • Koné Hospital will improve healthcare provision in the North of the island.

Strengthening regional integration

Island, New-Caledonia, Le Chélard

Strengthening regional integration

AFD has adopted a local cooperation strategy for the French overseas territories and focuses its activities in the region on two areas: sustainable biodiversity management and the fight against climate change. 

Since 2018, with the signing between the Pacific Community (CPS) and regional agency in New Caledonia, AFD has been supporting the Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network (PPHSN).

In addition to the expected impacts in terms of strengthening surveillance systems and ultimately improving the health of people, this project will develop regional cooperation on new issues, such as vector surveillance and control, antibiotic resistance and surveillance of the health impacts of climate change.

The projects for this cooperation financed by AFD and/or the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) are conducted in partnership with other organizations: SPC and the Pacific Regional Environment Program (PROE).

AFD also supports the external action of New Caledonian local authorities with their counterparts in foreign countries in the regions via FICOL (French Local Authorities Financing Facility). Up until now, 3 FICOLs have been allocated to the Municipality of Dumbéa and the Government of New Caledonia for cooperation projects with the Municipality of Port-Vila and the Government of Vanuatu.

euros of outstanding amounts
years of partnership between AFD and New Caledonia

New Caledonia, a French overseas territory, has its own institutions and broad competences. Despite its geographical distance and the insular nature of its economy, the island has experienced significant development over the past 25 years. Average economic growth has been above 3%, driven in particular by nickel mining and transfers from mainland France. This has brought about a rapid improvement in the standard of living.

But today, while the economy is running out of steam, the objective is to move away from dependence on nickel and improve productivity.

The challenge is especially important because in 2018, the island will face a major political event with the vote on accession to full sovereignty. 

AFD has been a partner of New Caledonia since 1947 and has played a major role in the island’s development. The Nouméa agency, which opened in 1960, is a regional agency. It covers activities in Wallis & Futuna and Vanuatu, as well as our regional cooperation operations in the Pacific region.

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News & Events

New Caledonia

Fluidity, social diversity, ecology: Néobus is changing the face of Greater Nouméa!

Nouméa and its suburbs are congested by traffic and are going to benefit from a state-of-the-art bus network: Néobus. The project is addressing environmental issues, but also the needs for social diversity and balance between territories. An ambitious and new approach central to AFD’s mandate in New Caledonia.


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