AFD is the Groupe Agence Française de Développement, a bi-lateral development finance institution established in 1941 that works on behalf of the French government. Its mission is to finance development according to France’s Overseas Development Assistance policies.
In 2009, AFD committed over €6.2 billion to more than 60 developing countries in Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East, South America, and the French Overseas Territories.
AFD’s activities are aimed at reducing poverty and inequalities, promoting sustainable economic growth, and protecting “Global Public Goods” of benefit to all humanity. Protecting Global Public Goods includes the fight against climate change and pandemics; the preservation of biodiversity; the promotion of social and environmental responsibility; as well as aid to countries weakened by strife, war and natural disasters.
AFD’s actions in favor of economic growth and preservation of the environment fall directly within the framework of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, which was set out in 2000 and seeks to reduce global poverty by half by the year 2015.
AFD uses a wide range of financial instruments to underwrite its activities: grants, subsidies, guarantees, loans, equity shareholdings, co-financing and local bank intermediation.
AFD works hand-in-hand with many partners: national, regional and local governments; local authorities and municipalities; international agencies; non-governmental organizations; foundations; private companies; entrepreneurs; and local banks, microfinance institutions and capital markets.
In addition to leveraging financial assets, AFD leverages its intellectual assets and those of its partners. Through its activities, research and debates, AFD strives to increase French influence in the area of development assistance.
AFD’s financing, know-how and more than a thousand employees and agents support social, economic and environmental projects in such diverse sectors as rural development, urban infrastructure, transportation, agriculture, education, banking and microfinance, energy, health care, telecommunications, mining, housing, eco-tourism.