French Guiana

French Guiana is located in South America and has a surface area equivalent to Portugal. 96% is covered by the Amazon forest. The territory is marked by strong population growth and faces a number of social, health and economic challenges. AFD is helping local actors from both the public and private sectors address them throughout the territory, from the coast to remote areas.
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 Maroni, Guiana
AFD and French Guiana: addressing demographc challenges and supporting economic and social development

Supporting local authorities

Apatou College, Guyane, aerial view, local authorities, education

Supporting local authorities

Local authorities in French Guiana are marked by their diversity, with varying degrees of isolation and varying levels of population density. However, they all face major challenges, such as access to education, water, health and mobility. AFD assists public actors in the implementation of an investment policy to meet their needs. It is responsive to its partners and offers local authorities appropriate financing, as well as several support mechanisms to structure their projects. 

Our support to local authorities in French Guiana:

  • Strengthens priority sectors through the construction of schools, urban infrastructure, territorial development, access to water and sanitation and by improving waste management;
  • Assists the implementation of investment programs approved by elected officials;
  • Improves the management and organization of local authorities through support-advice services in finance, accounting, human resources… 

Strengthening the health and social care sectors

Hospital, Guiana, women & children, health

Strengthening the health and social care sectors

French Guiana is faced with a lack of infrastructure, equipment and qualified staff, particularly in the health sector. Consequently, there is unequal access to healthcare in the territory. In addition to this situation, rapid population growth  puts further pressure on existing services.

AFD supports local actors in the health sector by contributing to financing French Guiana’s main hospital centers: for example, it has partly financed the mother-child unit and the refurbishment of the Cayenne hospital center, as well as the construction of the West French Guiana Hospital Center in Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni. 

Since 2012, AFD has also been contributing to the provision of care for disabled children and adults by financing associations in the medical-social sector.

Supporting private sustainable development initiatives

biomass, energy, Abiodis, Guyane

Supporting private sustainable development initiatives

AFD provides support to French Guiana’s private sector that is complementary to commercial banks. The aim is to develop job-creating and environmentally-friendly activities. Through its support to ADIE, AFD also facilitates the establishment of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the French Overseas Territories

In line with its 100% Paris Agreement objective, AFD also supports the development of renewable energies, especially the biomass sector. Two power plants have been financed by AFD since 2016 in this sector where French Guiana has strong potential.

In addition, AFD promotes the sustainable use of farmland through knowledge production and project financing. The aim is to generate activities that respect local biodiversity.

Developing regional cooperation

bird, nature, biodiversity, Guyane

Developing regional cooperation

On the Guiana Shield, AFD is established in Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil. AFD’s office in Paramaribo and the Cayenne agency are under the same management, based in Cayenne. Its organization is conducive to exchanges and the pooling of information. In addition, AFD reorganized itself into regional basins in 2018, by integrating the Overseas Departments (DOM) and foreign countries. The aim is to develop cooperation between its various geographical areas of operation.

To strengthen French Guiana’s links with its neighbors, AFD supports and finances regional cooperation projects to pool know-how between territories on the Guiana Shield. It thereby provides its financial support and expertise beyond French Guiana’s borders, in particular in the sectors of health and environmental protection

On both sides of the Maroni River, hospital cooperation and the development of complementary healthcare systems are among the key cooperation activities between French Guiana and Suriname. 

In addition, AFD’s support to cross-border initiatives for the protection of Amazonian biodiversity contributes to boosting regional dynamics in a decisive sector for the preservation of the local natural heritage.

projects financed in 10 years
EUR million committed between 2010 and 2018
of our financing devoted to renewable energy between 2013 and 2018

French Guiana is located in South America and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. 90% of its territory is covered by the Amazon forest and it is France’s largest region in terms of surface area… as well as the least densely populated in the French overseas territories. Its population, one of the youngest in France, is expected to double by 2040 to half a million inhabitants: a real demographic dynamism which is an opportunity, but also a challenge. 

Indeed, while French Guiana has experienced strong growth since the 1990s, population growth is now mitigating this economic performance, which is, however, driven by a healthy aerospace industry and growing tourism. Today, GDP per capita is only equivalent to almost half the national level (against over 60% in 1993). Essential services are also not evenly distributed between the coast and the inland plains, and unemployment affected 23% of the working population in 2016. 

AFD in French Guiana seeks to address the demographic challenge, fight against economic, social and territorial imbalances, and promote the emergence of a new development model. AFD supports local public and private actors. It operates via a number of tools for the public sector (loans, support-advice) and private sector (loans to companies for medium to large-scale investment projects, guarantee fund for fishing and agriculture, range of services of Bpifrance). 

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