French Development Agency
The Agence Française de Développement (AFD, or French Development Agency) is a public institution providing development financing. A specialized financial institution, AFD finances sustainable development projects carried out by government, local authorities, public companies, and the private sector on five continents—with priority given to Africa, which receives two-thirds of AFD commitments,and the French Overseas Territories. These projects focus on urban development and infrastructures, rural development, industry, financial systems, education and health. AFD offers a range of financial instruments: subsidies, guarantees, shareholdings, and all forms of assisted and commercial loans depending on each requirement and situation.
Established in 1941, it is a central figure in France’s official development assistance system. At the crossroads between economic growth, poverty reduction and environmental protection, AFD’s interventions aim to attain the UN's Millennium Development Goals. AFD’s strategy is guided by sustainable development. It develops financial and intellectual partnerships with other donors and contributes, in conjunction with its supervisory authorities, to the development of public policies and to France’s influence in the sphere of development. AFD edits numerous publications, including Afrique contemporaine ("Contemporary Africa"), a French-language review on Africa, the Letter of AFD's economists, a series of publications labelled as Notes and Documents.
AFD's current Chief Executive Office is Mrs Anne Paugam. Appointed on 29 May 2013, she is the first woman to have held this position in this organisation. Her predecessor was Dov Zerah, appointed in June 2010. The previous chief economist was Pierre Jacquet. The current chief economist, appointed in February 2015, is Gaël Giraud.
The main priorities of the AFD are to fight against poverty and inequality, to support economic growth and to preserve global public goods. The AFD's main sectors of intervention consist of supporting the health sector, improving access to potable water and sanitation, education and training, supporting the private sector, and combating global warming. The AFD also owns real estate companies that promote social housing in France's overseas regions.
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