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United in action: AFD Group and the World Bank partner to advance global development

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United in Action: AFD Group and the World Bank Partner to Advance Global Development Women in the village of Garak, Mauritania, are turning their plots of land into lucrative vegetable gardens, under a rural irrigation project. Photo credit: © James Martone/ World Bank

In a world grappling with the profound challenges of climate change, poverty, and inequality, collective action is more important than ever. These global issues, increasingly complex and interwoven, demand a response that transcends borders, sectors, and individual capabilities.

As governments and donors worldwide deal with the strain of multiple crises, the resources to combat them are stretched thin, threatening to reverse hard-won development gains. In the face of this, the partnership between the Groupe Agence Française de Développement (AFD Group) and the World Bank stands as an excellent example of the power of collaboration to tackle these daunting development challenges.

Our two institutions have a long and storied history, which has continued to evolve and expand over the past 70 years. At the global, sectoral, regional, and country levels, AFD Group and the World Bank now work in coordination to reduce aid fragmentation, improve client delivery and impact, enhance knowledge exchange, strengthen operational collaboration, and increase mobilization of new and existing resources.

The Finance in Common initiative is one example of this partnership in action. Launched in 2020, the annual summit brings together more than 500 development banks with the aim of better aligning the financial system with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. As a member and supporter of the Finance in Common initiative, the World Bank works with the AFD Group and national development banks to develop shared standards and best practices, green operations, and shift strategies toward sustainability. Collectively, these banks are responsible for $2.7 trillion in annual investment, representing significant potential to enhance impact on global development.

The World Bank and the AFD Group also share a commitment to universal social protection. Our institutions have partnered on adaptable systems to boost support for vulnerable people, disaster management, and preparation for climate change. These programs are helping millions of households build resilience and foster access to income-earning opportunities in fragile parts of the world. To address food insecurity crises in Mauritania, for instance, the country’s government, AFD, and the World Bank aligned funding. In the wake of COVID-19, our institutions worked with other development banks to strengthen Brazil’s safety net program, providing financial support to impoverished families and promoting access to education and health services.

An innovative co-financing framework agreement, which was signed in 2018, has also helped channel billions of dollars into transformative development projects that are spurring socioeconomic progress, fostering stability and security in fragile settings, strengthening human capital, and combating the climate crisis. With an average cumulative financing of $468 million per year flowing through this mechanism, the benefits and value-add at the project level go far beyond larger financing volumes as each institution brings its own unique skills to co-financed projects. Overall, the total portfolio of co-financing and parallel financing has reached $30 billion for 116 operations over the last decade (including 51 co-financed projects with the World Bank that are worth $15 billion).

Through such collective efforts the AFD Group and the World Bank have set a standard for international cooperation. We have shown that when institutions come together with a common purpose and partnership practices that foster trust, they can greatly amplify their impact. It is through this spirit of cooperation and shared vision that we will continue paving the way for a more resilient and equitable world, and a better future for all countries.

Akihiko Nishio

World Bank Vice President of Development Finance (DFi)

Papa Amadou Sarr

Executive Director of the Mobilization, Partnerships and Communication Department - Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

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