Upholding its commitments and accountability are the two requirements that have guided AFD’s action in 2018. At €11.4 billion, the commitments of AFD are up €1 billion in a year (40% in 3 years). In practical terms, this represents 846 new development projects launched, 94 more than in 2017, while the resources devoted to climate change adaptation projects have doubled compared to 2017. Half of the Group’s total commitments are dedicated to Africa and by 2022, 10,000 African businesses and start-ups will have received support, thanks to €2.5 billion in aid via the Choose Africa initiative.
In 2018, the projects supported by AFD enabled the following achievements in particular:
- Schooling for 463,000 girls
- Improved access to healthcare for 14 million people
- Permanent access to drinking water for 826,000 people
- Improved access to electricity for 7 million people
- The protection or restoration of 50,000km2 of green spaces
- Funding or support for 60,000 SMEs
AFD Group, under the initiative of the French President and Government, is fully engaged, alongside its partners, in achieving the strategy defined by France to devote 0.55% of its GNI to funding development.
This is demonstrated by our 2018 results in education, healthcare, the fight against climate change and gender inequality, or in the prevention of conflict in vulnerable zones. Our action is consolidated by our desire to carry out systematic evaluations of our projects and by the conviction of our fellow citizens that the solutions to the world's challenges can be found through international cooperation.
Five commitments upheld, concrete progress
This presentation provided an opportunity to report on the first results of the Group strategy adopted for the period 2018-2022, based on our five commitments to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Planet: AFD 100% Paris Agreement
The commitment: To protect the planet from climate change and the decline in biodiversity, all AFD funding must be compatible with low-carbon development and resilience within the meaning of the Paris Agreement.
Progress: The roll-out of 2050 Facility (commitment 5) aims to support some twenty developing countries in their low-carbon and resilient development strategies, in line with the aims of the Paris Agreement. In addition to this, in October 2018, AFD launched an ambitious programme entitled “Transforming Financial Systems for Climate”. This programme aims to boost the local re-direction of investment flows towards low-emission and climate-resistant development. The programme represents a total amount of over $750 million, in partnership with the Green Climate Fund which approved a $280 million contribution. This is one of the biggest financial contributions by the Green Climate Fund since it was created in 2015.
Populations: AFD 100% social ties
The commitment: All AFD funding must contribute to strengthening social ties, by fighting against inequality and for the well-being of populations, by boosting cohesion between regions and by promoting access to education and real gender equality.
Progress: Following Burkina Faso, in 2018 AFD mobilised new delegated funds from the Global Partnership to support education projects in Senegal, Guinea, Niger and Burundi. The Group is also developing new projects to promote gender issues, sport and youth access to the media, in particular in the Sahel region.
Peace: 3D Development: Defence, Development & Diplomacy
The commitment: To roll out a ‘3D vision’ based on the prevention of conflict in fragile and crisis situations, in synergy with the action of diplomats and armed forces.
Progress: More than €2 billion committed to the Sahel region since 2013 and reinforced coordination in vulnerable areas with 12 other donors within the Sahel Alliance, in partnership with the G5 Sahel. Actions led in close contact with local populations: a vocational integration project with young people in Gao, healthcare in Ménaka and a water supply project in Mopti, etc.
Prosperity: non-sovereign projects the priority
The commitment: All the stakeholders in society must direct their investments towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. This means funding non-sovereign players such as local authorities, the private and financial sector, or community organisations.
Progress: With the Choose Africa initiative, AFD Group, via Proparco, its subsidiary devoted to the private sector, is beefing up its support for entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa, at the service of start-ups and SMEs. By 2022, €2.5 billion will be allocated to funding and support for 10,000 small businesses and start-ups in Africa, including €1.5 billion in loans and guarantees and €1bn for direct investments in particular. At the same time, AFD is supporting the African entrepreneurial ecosystem with the Digital Africa platform, presented during Emerging Valley.
Partnerships: our reflex
The commitment: A project led with a partner is always better than a project without one. AFD provides a collective response, associating player coalitions to strengthen the effectiveness of solutions to issues on the ground.
Progress: Bringing the development banks into line with the Paris Agreement is a priority for the IDFC Club, presided over by AFD, in particular through the creation of the IDFC climate facility to increase the integration of the climate factor in member strategies and promote the concrete implementation of this commitment.
AFD reports on its action: 100 evaluations made public by end 2019
The first bi-annual assessment report of AFD on its action, drafted by the Innovation, Research and Knowledge Department, places evaluation at the heart of AFD’s priorities, at the service of its partners and beneficiaries. The 2019 edition highlights 58 evaluations for the period 2017-2018 with three key focus areas (Vietnam, public policy loans and biodiversity).
This report is the result of a threefold demand; that of accountability at a time of new momentum for foreign aid, the demand for high performance in the evaluation of action and the need for innovation by capitalising on 40 years of evaluation and learning culture.
As of this year, AFD is to double the budget devoted to evaluation to reach €3 million per year. AFD will publish 100 evaluations by the end of 2019 at www.afd.fr
According to the CSA / AFD 2019 Barometer, French citizens are increasingly supportive of aid to developing countries and aware that the impact of political, economic, climatic and demographic issues of southern countries also has an impact on their own lives. They associate the fight against inequality with environmental protection.
Four key lessons:
- almost 8 out 10 French people support aid to developing countries (79%), a figure which has grown by 9 points since last year and by 17 points since 2014, in particular for the under 25 age group (17 points). 67% are in favour of an increase in the budget for foreign aid;
- this can be explained in particular by increased awareness that what happens in the South will have an impact in the North; an opinion held by almost 7 out of 10 French people. 44% have heard of the SDGs;
- among the priority geographical areas, 55% of French people believe that Africa should be the priority region for French intervention. This perception is in line with the AFD’s “All Africa” strategy;
- however, following strong growth in the last three years, 77% of the French population still feel under-informed about foreign aid and its results. This deficit affects their understanding of the effectiveness of such action; 1 person in 2 considers aid to be effective among those who declare they are well-informed, compared to just 1 in 4 among those who declare the opposite;
- inequalities and the environment are interlinked: half of the French population believes that the fight against inequality and environmental protection go hand in hand.
AFD CSA 2019 barometer: national sample representative of the French population aged 15 years and over.